Dubai to Heathrow is set to be the busiest international air route in January 2021, according to global travel data provider OAG, with services between Cairo and Jeddah the second most popular.
OAG said it defined popularity by “largest volume of scheduled seats in the current calendar month,” adding that “data was for both directions of the route” in question.
The company found 190,365 available seats on flights between Dubai and the UK’s largest airport, whilst 154,377 were offered for flights from Cairo to Jeddah.
The route from Cairo to Riyadh is set to be the ninth most popular among international travelers, with 115,124 seats.
Reasons for the popularity of the Dubai-to-Heathrow route include the removal of the UAE from the UK’s coronavirus quarantine list, with a significant number of British holidaymakers known to have flown to the emirate over the Christmas period.
But OAG said a recently imposed national lockdown in the UK could impact the eventual number of travelers.
The UK announced on Thursday that passengers on flights into England and Scotland from abroad would need to test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to enter the country — requiring them to take a test up to 72 hours before their flight. Similar steps are likely to be taken for Wales and Northern Ireland in the coming days.
The decision to impose the new restrictions came in the wake of rocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases across the UK, in addition to fears over a new variant of the disease originally discovered in South Africa.