For Qantas, Sydney-Melbourne is a billion dollar route

For Qantas, Sydney-Melbourne is a billion dollar route

The corridor between Sydney and Melbourne is not only one of the world’s busiest airline routes, it’s a billion dollar goldmine for Qantas.

According to flight schedule analysis from OAG, Sydney-Melbourne is the world’s second highest revenue-earning route in the world with an estimated annual value to Qantas of almost US$855 million, or a whopping A$1.15 billion per year.

That should come as no surprise to regular commuters on the 90 minute journey, which sees over 100 flights per day and remains hotly contested between Qantas and challenger Virgin Australia.

“All of the top 10 routes are also high-cost operations,” says OAG’s John Grant. “Typically, these routes also include a high proportion of business traffic, later booking and higher yielding in nature."

The world’s richest route for airline revenue is British Airways’ trans-Atlantic spring between London and New York , at US$1.04 billion, with Emirates’ Dubai-London leg in third place for its annual haul of US$820 million.

In fact, London lists as half of the world’s ten most lucrative routes with flights from the hubs of Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways also gaining a spot on the leaderboard.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Jason Bird


    6 Jul, 2018 06:48 pm

    Love London.. pity about Heathrow..

    They should of bitten the bullet and gone for the Thames Island 🌴 airport which could of grown properly for the next 100 years, but typical Poms style, the duffed it up when it came to crunch time
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  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    6 Jul, 2018 10:01 pm

    Boris Johnson had the right idea but shouted down
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  • k  lane


    9 Jul, 2018 10:30 am

    completely disagree - Heathrow is still the right answer, there are significant issues with Boris Island idea, notwithstanding flight path issues with AMS / huge environmental, and cost to link London
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  • DRW


    8 Jul, 2018 08:55 pm

    should have
    could have
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  • eminere


    11 Jul, 2018 03:38 pm

    This never ceases to amaze me.
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  • flyOFTEN


    7 Jul, 2018 12:55 pm

    so why doesn't anyone fly from Essendon to Bankstown ?

    Small jets could do it up to 32 seaters I think or even Dash 8s.

    A big % of the MEL/SYD traffic doesn't want to go anywhere near SYD CBD, but out west.
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  • comeflywithme


    7 Jul, 2018 01:09 pm

    Exactly why a high speed train would be viable on the SYD-MEL route, with connections to CBR and BNE soon after proven.
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  • ivanb52


    7 Jul, 2018 04:01 pm

    SYD-MEL does stand out in this list as by far the shortest.

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  • Geoff Aire


    8 Jul, 2018 10:27 am

    Obvious choice for high speed rail if only the government encouraged infrastructure projects - using "green" electricity from environmental sources too?
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  • flyOFTEN


    8 Jul, 2018 10:37 am

    hi speed train sounds great, but massive building costs unless you bring in cheap labour from overseas.

    Airports like Essendon & Bankstown already exist. Just need a few suitable aircraft to start ops.
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  • Chun Wah Dou


    11 Jul, 2018 08:15 pm

    Not surprising me as normally you get Qantas SYD-MEL return for $500 but a promotional fare for Qantas/ CX SYD-HKG for $600. Sometimes you find SYD-PER is more expensive than SYD-SIN or SYD-HKG...
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  • Smithy


    12 Jul, 2018 04:17 pm

    MEL-SYD is more expensive than MEL-SYD-OOL ! OOL-SYD-HKG this week was $~535 :)
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  • Smithy


    12 Jul, 2018 04:16 pm

    It certainly is the king of the Aussie Golden Triangle ! Fog, storms, aircraft issues or 'downgrades' (332-738) ... qs are up the corridors lol. One downgrade yesterday (saw every QF SYD MEL flight full to 10pm.

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17 Jul, 2018 11:46 pm

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