Copenhagen-Hong Kong is Skyscanner “Unserved Route of the Week” with nearly 65,000 searches in 2015 – a route for Cathay Pacific or Norwegian?

Skyscanner unserved route is Copenhagen to Hong Kong

With 65,000 searches on Skyscanner in 2015, recommends that Copenhagen-Hong Kong would be a great new route for either Norwegian or Cathay Pacific Airways (SAS is more likely to want to continue feeding its customers via its new Stockholm-Hong Kong service). This analysis was made using the Skyscanner for Business “Travel Insight” tool which tells you where’s 50 million unique visitors per month actually want to fly to, an amazingly powerful product in planning profitable new airline routes.

A potential new route from Copenhagen to Hong Kong, has been identified as the Skyscanner for “Unserved Route of Week”, the fifth great unserved new route opportunity revealed by the new cooperation between and the B2B branch of the consumer flight comparison site. This is a brand new kind of analysis which harnesses the amazing power of the aspirational data captured from‘s +50 million unique visitors per month. This particular analysis was created using the Skyscanner Travel Insight product.


Source: Skyscanner for Business. recommends new route for Norwegian or Cathay Pacific

At first glance this looks like an ideal route for SAS, adding to its planned 2016 launches to Boston on 29 March and Miami on 28 September. However, SAS started a Stockholm-Hong Kong five times weekly service only last September, so obviously for the time being the Star Alliance carrier would prefer to direct all its customers feed onto that routing from its vast Scandinavian and European network.

Alternatively, this route should appeal to Norwegian. As as low-cost, long-haul airline Norwegian does not benefit from feed, but with 65,000 Skyscanner searches, the indicator suggests there is certainly enough point-to-point traffic as it looks to spread east from the Danish capital. Cathay Pacific Airways’ recent European expansion could also include Copenhagen in the future, adding to the oneworld airline’s recently-introduced operations to Zurich (March) and Düsseldorf (September) last year, with Madrid planned for June 2016 and London Gatwick, four times weekly from September 2016. On this basis, recommends a twice- or thrice-weekly frequency by Norwegian using its nice new 787-8/9s, or four times weekly by Cathay Pacific using its 777-300s.

When using the Skyscanner searches as an indicator, bear in mind that there are other significant search volumes that could also be added to the total – from dedicated airline websites, competitive search engines etc. If anything, this underlines the value of the Skyscanner data as a conservative indicator of market route demand.

Heathrow, Helsinki lead transfer competition

Looking at last year’s searches, the busiest month (for CPH-HKG and HKG-CPH combined) for potential traffic flows was October 2015 with nearly 10,000 searches, over 7,000 more than the lowest monthly figure which was recorded in May 2015 (2,700). The seasonality profile of this search data is as extreme as last week’s Unserved Route of the Week (Amsterdam-Las Vegas), with the low-month traffic representing just 28% of the highest month. According to OAG Traffic Analyser, because there is no direct service, the top three connecting options chosen by those passengers which did book travel between Copenhagen and Hong Kong in 2015 were London Heathrow (24%), Helsinki (16%) and Moscow Sheremetyevo (8.1%). In fact, over 30 different intermediate airports were used as stops between the two cities.

An O&D that is not served by a non-stop flight will typically display a low conversion rate and low traffic as a consequence – in this instance Skyscanner’s Travel Insight indicates a monthly average of just 10.6% for the Copenhagen to Hong Kong route (see graph below). Therefore, if the route was served, it is reasonable to assume it would perform better – the Skyscanner market average purchase rate is 12.5% for all routes offered at both airports – so moving into line with this average conversion rate would offer a prospective airline starting a Copenhagen to Hong Kong route the chance of an immediate 18%+ improvement in bookings.


Source: Skyscanner for Business.

Skyscanner for Business – what +50 million travellers want

Skyscanner for Business” packages B2C data based on the “aspirations” of ‘s +50 million unique visitors per month into a suite of business products which offer comprehensive data solutions. This includes Skyscanner Travel Insight, a comprehensive, unique ‘big data’ set that can accurately predict future demand by telling you what 50 million actual real living and breathing travellers want to do.

Skyscanner Travel Insight’s data visualisation software brings the numbers to life, presenting trends, insights and forecasts as charts and graphs, with drag and drop functionality that requires no technical knowledge or training. As such, it is the perfect decision-making tool for route development, fleet/revenue management, destination marketing, or for making day-to-day trading decisions. It will also complement and enhance your current marketing intelligence portfolio.

Check next week’s newsletter for another great for Business “Unserved Route of the Week” – or browse in’s Route Shop where there are 3,100 more unserved routes.


  1. Petteri says:

    Norwegian has traffic right and overflight issues to solve if they want to serve Northeast Asia from Scandinavia.

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