the world’s 50 most underserved international airline routes involve a U.S. destination, according to a
study released by aviation data-analytics company OAG.
In compiling the list, OAG defined
underserved routes as those in which the largest number of tickets purchased last year included stopovers. Many of the
city pairs had nonstop service between them, though some
Topping the list was
Jakarta, Indonesia, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with 280,000 one-stop bookings in 2015. The first U.S. market
appears at number two, as some 239,000 one-stop ticket segments were purchased
for flights between New York Kennedy and Tel Aviv. By comparison, 432,000
people flew nonstop between those two airports.
The next four most underserved
international routes involving the U.S. were Los Angeles-Ho Chi Minh City, Los
Angeles-Manila, Los Angeles-Bangkok and San Francisco-Delhi. All of those
routes made the top 12.
Notably, nonstop flights weren’t
offered at all between Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City. Also, there was no
direct service between the Vietnam capital and San Francisco even though 127,000 ticket segments were purchased between the two markets in 2015,
placing it 36th on the OAG list.
Other city pairs with no direct flights in 2015 were
Dhaka, Bangladesh, and New York and Bangkok and New York. None of those pairs
have since added direct flights, OAG said.
In addition, the pairings of Mumbai
and New York, Manila and New York, and Bangkok and Los Angeles, all of which OAG
ranked among the 50 most underserved international routes last year, don’t have
direct service this summer.
With its 19 routes on the underserved
routes list, the U.S. nearly doubled the next most common country, Thailand,
which featured in 10 of the airport pairs.
The distance between the U.S. and
many large Asian markets, as well as the heavy reliance of U.S. carriers on
domestic hubs, are reasons why the U.S. has so many of the underserved international
routes, the OAG authors wrote.
“The ranking highlights the strong
significant opportunity the U.S. holds for more direct services,” the authors
Correction: Dhaka is in Bangladesh, not Senegal.