Oct 31, 2012
Here, at long last, is the world airline map. Click for big, for enormous, go here.
Things I learned from doing this map:
- Every country in the world, no matter how small or poor, has at least one airline
- Some of these airlines, particularly in Africa, seem to have only one or two planes, often 2nd or 3rd hand 737s.
- Any country with a plane big enough has a flight to New York and either their former colonial master or London.
- If they have a 2nd flight to the US, it is usually to Washington, sometimes LA.
- There are more airlines in Europe than anywhere else on earth.
- Each European country has a national flag carrier, sometimes a second large airline and two to five budget airlines.
- The big airlines fly to every 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier city in Europe, the budget airlines fly to the same, plus many smaller centers, also to holiday destinations.
- The most popular European holiday destinations are the Canaries, followed by Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean.
- North Americans holiday in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.
- Asians don’t seem to have a lot of specialized holiday destinations, probably because its either warm all the time, or people don’t have enough disposable income.
- The few obvious Asian holiday destinations seem to be The Philippines, Okinawa, Thailand, Guam and Bali.
- The density of air traffic in Europe far outstrips the US or Japan.
- Highest density of flight to population is probably Australia.
- Every Muslim country has a direct flight to Jeddah, and many to Riyadh.
- Arab airlines are huge. Not just from the Gulf, but North Africa, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
- Some small countries stand out due to their long-haul business. The Netherlands, Dubai, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Singapore and Korea, for example.
- Some other small countries have built a good long haul business based on being holiday destinations, Fiji, The Seychelles, Mauritius, Tahiti and The Maldives.
- Countries with a surprising volume of air traffic given economic or political problems: Ethiopia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Central Asia, Russia, Mali, Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Ecuador, Angola, Bangladesh, Madagascar.
- The most underserved countries for their populations: Iraq, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, Burma, Nepal, Peru.
- Of these, Iraq is close to a black hole. You can only fly to Baghdad from Amman, Tehran, and Kuwait.
- You can fly to almost any city in Turkey from almost any city in Germany.
- By far the densest long-haul corridor is the North Atlantic, traffic there dwarfs Europe>>Far East or Far East>> North America.
- 80% of the International traffic to and from Central and South America is going to the US, primarily Miami, New York, Dallas, Houston and LA.
- South African Airlines dominates the African airspace, South Africa is also the only African country to have discount airlines.
- Surprisingly big hubs (at least to me): Santiago, Moscow, Kuwait, Houston, Bogotá, San Juan PR, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Bali, Guangzhou, Cairo, Tashkent, Almay, Istanbul.