Passengers at Terminal 3, Dubai International Airport, Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

New York: The one-hour flight between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was the world's busiest international route this year, underscoring the scale of Asia's travel rebound in the wake of Covid-19.

The number of seats on the leg jumped 50 per cent from last year to 4.9 million, according to OAG. The same route was third in 2022 and second before the pandemic.

Atlanta remained the world's busiest airport in 2023, OAG said. It was followed by Dubai and Haneda in Tokyo.

Countries in Asia dominated the list as the region trailed Europe and the US in opening up. There were huge increases in flights connecting South Korea with Japan and Thailand. Among the top 10 routes, the smallest seat additions were between Cairo and Jeddah and New York and London.

Flights linking Seoul with Osaka and Tokyo ranked fourth and fifth after capacity more than doubled on those routes. The flagship trans-Atlantic leg between Heathrow and JFK dropped to eighth from fourth.

The only new entrant in this year's top 10 airports list was 10th-placed Guangzhou, in China, OAG said. It was 16th in 2022.