The world’s busiest air route may surprise you, but for good reason

jeju island, south korea, air route

View of Jeju Island from a plane. Source: Shutterstock

NEW YORK to Los Angeles? London to Paris? No, the most traveled flight path in the world last year was between two popular destinations in South Korea: that is, between tiny, sunny Jeju island and Korea’s trendy capital, Seoul.

Located just 454km apart, the Jeju-Seoul route may be a short journey but is a popular one – the most popular on Earth in 2017 – according to a new report by aviation analyst OAG.

Last year saw 64,991 departures between Seoul Gimpo and Jeju International, which translates to around 178 passengers a day taking the hour-long flight.

Melbourne to Sydney comes in second on the world’s busiest airline routes list. The 713km flight connected these two major cities over 54,519 times last year. In just over an hour, commuters or leisure travelers can reach the two cities to conduct business or pleasure.

In fact, the top four spots on the list all belong to routes in the Asia Pacific region, with Mumbai to Delhi and Fukuoka to Tokyo coming in at number three and four, respectively.

Yet, it is the journey from Jeju to Seoul that takes the title as the world’s busiest air route.

So, why are people flocking to this little island?

For a start, the liberal visa requirements make it easy to pop over for a weekend break. As well as plenty of flora and fauna,  the macho Hallasan volcano rules from the center of the island, enticing hikers and wildlife lovers.

Jeju also offers a coastline that combines gushing waterfalls and golden sands with an island-aura that will grip you in the midst of tranquil happiness, which is why it is a popular must-visit on many bucket lists.

Hallasan volcano stands 1,950m above sea level, but can easily be hiked in a day. The once raging fire that burnt beneath its crater has created Asia’s largest lava tube.

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But it’s not recommended for the squeamish, as the dark damp conditions make it a haven for bats. But they don’t mind sharing their home with the occasional tour group.

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The women divers of Jeju have also become something of a draw for tourists. The women picked up their skills learning how to capture their supper from great depths in the sea, which they had to do when their men disappeared on fishing boats for weeks on end.

These sea women can dive up to depths of up to 20m without the use of any breathing apparatus, to stir octopus from their dens, and collect crustaceans from the seabed.

Back on the shores, there are some stunning beaches to relax and unwind on. Sapphire waters meet powdered sands across secluded and bustling beaches.

If you’re vacationing with a loved one, be prepared to get a little hot under the collar in Loveland; the islands OTT adult-themed park dedicated to all things erotica.

Here, 10-foot phallic statues and shrines to the female form can be seen at every turn. Perhaps the perfect honeymoon destination or a day out to reignite your passion.

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