Home Travel International flight reservations declined following the onset of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

International flight reservations declined following the onset of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

ForwardKeys reports a downward revision in the travel demand outlook for the fourth quarter.

by Soofiya

The global demand for international air travel has experienced a significant decline in the weeks following the commencement of the Israel-Gaza war, impeding the aviation sector’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to travel data analysis company ForwardKeys, international flight bookings dropped by five percentage points in the three weeks following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7, compared to the period three weeks prior to the attack. This decline has led to a downward revision of the fourth-quarter outlook by 7 percentage points to 88% of 2019 levels, deviating from the prewar forecast on October 27, which anticipated travel demand reaching 95% of its 2019 levels.

The conflict has had a broader impact on global travel, with a noticeable decrease in flight bookings from the Middle East, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Africa. Flight bookings from Middle Eastern countries dropped by 9 percentage points, while the Americas experienced a 10-percentage-point decline. International departures from Asia Pacific, Europe, and Africa each slowed by two percentage points. Notably, international arrivals to all regions, except Africa, have seen a deceleration in growth.

Specifically within the Middle East, Israel has been significantly affected, witnessing a plummet of 155 percentage points in flight bookings since October 7. Major airlines have suspended flights to Tel Aviv due to security concerns. Other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt, also saw substantial decreases in flight bookings, ranging from 35 to 67 percentage points. Additionally, flight bookings to GCC countries declined by 25 percentage points since the outbreak of the war.

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