Airlines Launched More Than 3,000 New Routes in 2016
And there will be even more this year.
Airlines launched more than 3,000 new routes around the world last year—and it’s likely that new routes in 2017 could amount to even more.
Over 2016, airlines started 3,042 new services, according to anna aero. That works out to an average of eight new routes every single day, which may sound like a lot but is actually down slightly from 2015, when airlines launched 3,109 new routes.
Ryanair dominated the new routes race. In 2016, the European budget airline launched 200 new routes. That’s double the next runners up, easyJet and Wizz Air, which launched 106 and 100 flights respectively.
In fact, of all the new routes developed last year, most were by European airlines. Of the top 20 airlines who spread new lines last year, 13 were based in Europe.
However, the new routes themselves were mostly to the U.S. Last year, 916 new flights began operating to American airports, which is more than twice the runner up, Spain, who had 395 new flights.
Over half of all new routes started last year were completely new and not operated by any other carrier.
The race to keep developing new routes will continue this year. There are more than 1,150 routes already planned for 2017 and it’s likely that an additional 2,000 routes will launch. Some of the most exciting routes planned for this year include the world’s longest flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Doha, Qatar.