Top-20 unserved routes: Australia-Southeast Asia

Building on World Routes 2019 in Adelaide, let’s look at the top-20 unserved routes from Australia to Southeast Asia. This is the first in a series of articles that will look at unserved routes across countries or regions.  This is done using indirect passengers, growth rate, and average fare.

In 2018, these top-20 unserved routes saw 777,000 indirect passengers, up 4% – or 29,000 – YOY.  Despite many of these routes overflying key hubs – Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok – various opportunities stand out.

Top-20 unserved routes 2018 passengers (two ways) 2017 passengers
(two ways)
% chg. 2018 average fare (USD)* Fare/mile (USD)*
Melbourne-Hanoi 68,092 65,202 4.4% $356 $0.074
Brisbane-Phuket 59,756 60,817 -1.7% $267 $0.061
Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh City 58,975 51,143 15.3% $326 $0.080
Perth-Phuket 58,709 57,783 1.6% $187 $0.063
Perth-Manila 57,816 56,809 1.8% $290 $0.090
Perth-Ho Chi Minh City 46,809 45,579 2.7% $247 $0.082
Melbourne-Phnom Penh 42,554 41,286 3.1% $383 $0.090
Adelaide-Ho Chi Minh City 40,180 36,582 9.8% $297 $0.079
Brisbane-Jakarta 39,970 36,553 9.3% $380 $0.112
Sydney-Phnom Penh 35,014 31,333 11.7% $375 $0.086
Adelaide-Phuket 33,898 34,424 -1.5% $227 $0.057
Adelaide-Manila 31,754 29,139 9.0% $272 $0.076
Adelaide-Bangkok 26,787 26,647 0.5% $317 $0.078
Melbourne-Danang 26,282 20,798 26.4% $362 $0.082
Darwin-Ho Chi Minh City 26,018 28,823 -9.7% $75 $0.033
Sydney-Surabaya 25,387 26,300 -3.5% $249 $0.082
Melbourne-Surabaya 25,025 27,423 -8.7% $269 $0.093
Melbourne-Ko Samui 24,085 22,864 5.3% $360 $0.083
Sydney-Cebu 23,873 23,585 1.2% $178 $0.050
Melbourne-Penang 23,850 22,418 6.4% $310 $0.075

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser. * One-way; USD; excluding taxes; excludes fuel surcharges; and across all cabins.

Unsurprisingly, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are key. This is further highlighted through country-level data, below. From the popularity of Denpasar-Bali for Australians, Australia-Indonesia has almost 2.5m passengers a year. While indirect passengers account for a strong 570,000, they’re fewer than one-quarter of the total.

Australia to/from… 2018 indirect passengers
(two ways)
2018 total passengers
(two ways)
% indirect to
total passengers
Thailand 652,000 1,386,000 47%
Indonesia 567,000 2,482,000 23%
Vietnam 531,000 952,000 56%
Philippines 399,000 839,000 48%
Malaysia 348,000 1,648,000 21%
Cambodia 156,000 0 100%
Singapore 147,000 2,127,000 7%
Brunei 50,000 65,000 77%
Myanmar 46,000 0 100%
Laos 29,000 0 100%
Timor 21,000 48,000 44%

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser.

Vocal for Vietnam

In contrast, Vietnam-Australia is relatively underserved, with almost six in ten passengers flying indirectly. With VietJet Air’s 15 coming A321XLRs and assuming  a rough eight-hour radius and singling out just one opportunity, Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh City looks interesting. It is one of the largest unserved markets and it has grown strongly: 15% YOY and a CAGR of 10% since 2014. 

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser.

While Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh City has a longer-than-average sector length across these 20 unserved routes, its average one-way fare/mile  – USD0.08 – is slightly above average.

VietJet Air offers connections, so Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh City could feed its Vietnam-wide services. And while VietJet Air tends not to offer many international connections, Brisbane-Ho Chi Minh-Delhi is closer to the great circle distance than Singapore. Brisbane-Delhi is a fast-growing market too.

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser.

It’ll be very interesting to see if any of these routes materialise.


New route? New airline? Email us! Let's all celebrate your new routes. Please send photos and route details to James Davis, anna.aero's Assistant Editor. Contact James.

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