The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route is the busiest international air link in the world despite the surprising fact that a flight between the two destinations lasts barely more than an hour.

According to an annual report by flight data firm OAG, the ranking was determined by the frequency of flights – covering both directions of a route – between two cities from the start of March 2017 to the end of February 2018.

The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur airline route came out on top of the list with 30,537 flights, followed by the Hong Kong-Taipei route with 28,887 flights and Jakarta-Singapore route with 27,304 flights.

Rounding off the all-Asian top five are the Hong Kong-Shanghai Pudong (21,888) and Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur (19,849) routes at fourth and fifth place respectively.

Image: OAG

OAG noted that the biggest international routes operate in Asia with 14 of the top 20 busiest links operating to and from destinations within the continent. Eight of the top 10 routes are between Asian cities.

In a statement carried by BusinessWire, Mayur Patel, OAG’s regional sales director for Japan and Asia-Pacific, said: “Given the robust expansion of air passenger travel across Asia Pacific and the fierce competition between carriers in the region, it is unsurprising.”

In terms of passenger numbers, the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route claimed third place with 4 million passengers carried in the 12-month period, trailing behind Hong Kong-Taipei (6.5 million) and Jakarta-Singapore (4.7 million).

When it comes to the busiest Asian airport hub, Hong Kong trumped the competition, being featured in six of the top 20 routes, followed by Singapore in four, and Kansai as well as Seoul Incheon in three each.

Among Asian routes, Kansai-Taipei topped the list for best on-time performance (83%), with Bangkok-Singapore (80%) and Incheon-Kansai (78%) taking second and third place.