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There were lots of flights on these routes in 2021

While 2021 was a better year for the aviation industry, it was hardly an overall good one. Some regions of the world saw a return of traffic and for some airlines even profitability. However, for many more it was another year of hardship and battle to stay alive. As per October last year, based on Q3 results, IATA predicted that net losses would be 51.8 billion USD in 2021 and that this would narrow to $11.6 billion in 2022.

To get some idea of what was going on in 2021 and use that to predict what will happen in 2022, looking at which routes that were most flown mean be useful. Thus has done by the excellent website routesonline.com (link to article below). As expected, domestic routes dominated the top positions, with all but one of the top 50 being domestic (the only international one being the fifteen minute flight between St Barthelemy and St Maarten in the Caribbean). Only eight out of the 400 routes with most traffic were international ones.

This was to be expected, as shorter routes normally will have more traffic and because COVID favoured domestic travel. At the top of the list we find China with eleven domestic routes among the top 50. A further five countries in Asia – India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea – had four domestic routes each on the list. In addition, the US also had four domestic routes on the list. Again, it is no surprise that the four countries with most people are represented on the list. China and India with around 1.4 billion people, followed by the US which needs aviation to overcome its great distances and the archipelago nation of Indonesia which needs it to cross waters.

South Korea, with a population of 51 million and without vast distances to overcome, was a bit of a surprise though. However, it was a Korean route that came out on top of the list – 450 km route between the capital Seoul (Gimpo-GMP) and the resort island Jeju (CJU). This route was trafficked by an astounding 235 flights a day, which offered a total of 17.1 million seats. The number of seats was down with less than 2% compared to 2019. Drivers for this is a well developed economy and aviation industry, a working culture offering limited time for leisure (if it was easier to take longer time off from work there would longer stays and less travel). Even more surprising was however that also the second busiest was in South Korea, the one from Seoul (Gimpo-GMP) to the southern port city of Busan (PUS).

The domestic routes on the list following the two top ones were Jeddah (JED)-Riyadh King Khalid (RUH), Fukuoka (FUK)-Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Sapporo New Chitose (CTS)-Tokyo Haneda. The other seven international routes that made the top 400 list, behind St Barthelemy and St Maarten, was Orlando (MCO)-San Juan (SJU-Puerto Rico), Bonaire (BON)-Curacao (CUR), Houston (IAH)-Mexico City (MEX) and Cairo (CAI)-Jeddah. Among the routes that drastically dropped on the list were Melbourne (MEL)-Sydney (SYD), Hanoi (HAN)-Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Mumbai (BOM)-Delhi (DEL). Still, no one dropped more drastically than Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Singapore (SIN), which went from 31,000 to 3800 flights and from being the busiest international route in 2019 to number 1407 on the list in 2021. Also, Hong Kong (HKG)-Taipei (TPE) and Jakarta (CGK)- Singapore (SIN), the second and third busiest international routes in 2019, were down by more than 80% in 2021.

As can be seen in these somewhat dry numbers, they reflect geography, demographics, economy, politics and so much more. There is a lot to reflect on when looking at the numbers and trends. Knowing this, we can now look forward to how the situation will evolve in 2022!

Link to article:
What Were The Busiest Routes In 2021?

Anders Ellerstrand: Eurocontrol om flygbranschens utveckling

Senast jag skrev om detta var i september förra året. Då var den faktiska återhämtningen för flygtrafik snabbare än den mest positiva prognosen. Hur ser det ut nu?

Den blå linjen visar en bas-prognos medan den gröna linjen visar den mest positiva prognosen och den röda en mer pessimistisk. Den vita linjen visar den faktiska utvecklingen och som synes ger den senaste tidens kraftiga spridning av omikron-varianten (och de restriktioner som införts) tydligt utslag. Vi ligger nu på en nivå motsvarande 75 % av trafiknivån från 2019, där prognosen pekade på 79 med hopp om 87 %.

Fortfarande dominerar inrikestrafik, där Frankrike hade 896 inrikesflygningar, Spanien 817 och Norge 631, alla siffror från 12 januari. Sverige klättrar i den rankingen och är på en nionde-plats med 206 flygningar. Det flygbolag som flyger mest är Ryanair som hade 905 flygningar 12 januari (-49 % om man jämför med 2019). Sedan följer Turkish Airlines med 888 flygningar (-27 %), Lufthansa med 669 flygningar (-53 %), Air France med 658 flygningar (-42 %), KLM med 521 flygningar (-28 %), Wizz Air med 372 flygningar (-17 %) och SAS med 342 flygningar (-53 %).

Det är en hårt drabbad bransch som nu ska hantera även detta. Dessutom stiger bränslepriserna! Den mest aktiva flygplatsen i Europa 12 januari var Istanbul (826 rörelser), följd av Paris (794 rörelser), och Amsterdam (793 dagliga rörelser).

Den gällande prognosen kom förra året:

Den mest positiva kurvan visar att en återhämtning till nivån från 2019 kan nås i år, basnivån säger slutet av 2023 medan en mer pessimistisk prognos säger 2027.

För Sveriges del har det inte kommit nya siffror från Transportstyrelsen sedan i slutet av oktober. Då såg man en tydlig ökning. Under det tredje kvartalet 2021 flög över 4,1 miljoner passagerare till och från svenska flygplatser vilket var 2,5 miljoner fler än under samma period 2020.

Johan Berg: A Go-To Person, a Mentor or an Interview Coach – or all of the above?

It’s now 26 years ago since I walked through the doors at Arlanda Airport to sign in for my first day as an aviation employee. Little did I know where my career would take me that day.
Ten airlines, three continents, and dozens of positions later I’ve learned the importance of building a personal network and how this has supported me to overcome challenges that are headed in my general direction. More often than not, it was personal contacts and recommendations that ultimately landed me the new position.

The Go-To Person
When I worked in Sweden, I always had numerous go-to persons in various positions within each organization. Knowing someone at a different position within the company is of great importance and can be your most valued asset when you expect it the least. Being able to seek advice or clarification “offline” can be a lot easier than having to expose yourself via official communication channels.
I encourage everyone starting a new position to be open to making professional
friendships with those in other departments. You never know who could grow to become a “go-to person”. It is nothing but beneficial to have these persons on speed dial when you need advice and/or guidance. I’ve never actively looked for the go-to person but instead, have been myself, stayed open-minded, and let the relationship happen.

The Mentor
Mentorship is something that is changing right now and is about to be divided into two categories. I choose to call them Official and Unofficial Mentorship.
The Official Mentorship is something new. In the wake of Colgan Air 3407, the FAA convened an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) tasked to develop guidance for air carriers in the areas of mentoring, professional development, leadership, and command training. It is more likely to be a more process-oriented concept that needs some kind of documentation/track record for compliance purposes. Let’s hope the effective mentorship isn’t getting weakened by mandatory documentation for compliance purposes.
(More on this in my previous article “NexCap”: link.) The Unofficial Mentorship goes hand in hand with CRM/TEM that is already a familiar and known concept in aviation. In the unofficial context, senior, more experienced crewmembers are supporting the younger, less experienced crewmembers on a daily basis by sharing their knowledge, experience, expertise, and techniques.

The Interview Coach
Since I graduated from flight school back in 2006 I have completed more interviews than I care to mention, likely more than most pilots have in an entire career. The reasons are several, but after a few years it was apparent I was not able to sell myself to a recruiter in a good way. Coming to this realization was difficult, but the process of overcoming the challenge has been very rewarding and satisfying.
Before I made the biggest change of my life, moving to the United States, I decided to get myself a personal coach. I was facilitated to better understand the interview process and improve my ability to perform and sell myself at a job interview. My first session was in the summer of 2016. Prior to coaching, I had found myself walking into the trap of trying to respond to interview questions with answers that I thought the recruiter wanted to hear. The effective coaching, facilitated and tailored to my needs boosted my awareness tremendously.
Four years later my success rate is 100% on the six different interviews that followed, each culminating with job offers. Suddenly I was facing a new and different challenge, having to say “No thank you” to a pilot job. Coaching was a game-changer and an eye-opener for me, and I highly recommend this to anyone who has an upcoming interview or is just looking for a change. There were two huge epiphanies from my coaching sessions:
• 80% of communication is non-verbal
• The recruiters want to know WHO you are, nothing else.

I had been doing it all wrong for ten years and never asked anyone about it. A couple of sessions later my secret formula was broken down into three basic and very simple questions:
• WHAT? (What had I done wrong?)
• WHY? (Why did I do it wrong?)
• HOW? (How can I correct it?)

The importance of familiarizing yourself with someone that can guide and support you before you are “on the spot” cannot be emphasized enough. Identify a person who knows the field you’re interviewing for, someone who understands the challenges, someone who can facilitate you to sell yourself and be able to bring out your strengths and at the same time know your own weaknesses and weak spots. By learning to identify, and more importantly, how to successfully embrace your own weaknesses you are able to unlock the greatest strength of them all – confidence.

Mentors, Coaches, Go-To Persons, and industry connections, in general, are indispensable. The various titles/functions I’ve identified can be the same person but don’t have to be.
In the end, it’s all about consolidating the knowledge needed for the phase you’re presently facing. It’s critical to assure you’re not running in the wrong direction and focusing on the wrong things. The network I have gathered for over 26 years is probably more valuable now than ever before. On numerous occasions, I have been steered to opportunities that I might never have identified on my own. However, when you have landed a job it’s only the beginning of the networking that potentially never ends.

“It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Mark Twain

Johan Berg
Professional Aviator,
sentimental with my pen