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26 Nov, 2015

Lockdown Impact: Paris, Brussels Suffer Mass Cancellations

London, Forwardkeys News Release, 25 November 2015 – Flight bookings to Brussels have collapsed in the wake of the recent attacks in Paris and the lockdown in Brussels, as police search for more suspects.

According to the latest figures from travel data analyst, ForwardKeys, net bookings, which take into account both daily bookings and cancellations, show a drop of 159% since the beginning of the weekend, when the lockdown came in to force.  In the previous week, which directly followed the Paris attacks, bookings were 23% down.

Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 15 million reservation transactions each day, explained: “If bookings are 100% down that indicates that no net bookings were made. 159% down means that in addition to no bookings being made, there were cancellations equal to 59% of the number of bookings made on the equivalent day last year.”

Looking at the source markets for travel to Brussels, the UK (-191%), Italy (-206.5%) and Austria (-236%) are proportionately the worst affected and virtually every source market has experienced net cancellations since the lockdown came in to force.

Analysis by type of travel reveals that business travel has been much more significantly affected by the lockdown than leisure travel, with bookings at -195% compared to -106% for leisure.

Somewhat encouragingly however, an analysis of forward bookings shows that business travel bookings for the weeks of December 7th and 14th are running well ahead of last year, suggesting that a significant proportion of business trips to Brussels have, in reality, been postponed by a fortnight rather than cancelled outright.


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Flight Bookings Collapse After Paris Attacks

Flight bookings to Paris collapsed in the week following the terrorist attacks, according to the latest figures from travel data analyst, ForwardKeys. Net bookings, which take into account both daily bookings and cancellations, were 101% down on the same period last year.

Travel to Paris was hit immediately after the 13 November assaults and while the number of cancellations has now fallen considerably, new reservations are proving slow to return.

Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day, said: “The clear picture to emerge from our data is that there were dramatic last-minute cancellations of immediate travel plans, predominantly among business travellers, following the attacks.  New bookings have also dropped dramatically below the figures for the same period last year.”

The biggest drops in bookings were from the US, China, Spain and Italy.


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Although the number of cancellations now appears to be levelling off, there has been a noticeable dip the day before the start of the international climate talks, COP21, in Paris beginning on 30 November.

Accumulated bookings for the Christmas holiday period – compared with last year – plateaued immediately after the 13 November attack

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Overall the number of cancellations from 14-21 November increased 21% compared with same period last year, although they have now returned to normal levels.

The number of new bookings remains 27% down, compared with the same dates last year.

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The picture for Christmas continues to look bleak with the number of bookings for travel during this period now 13% down, compared with the same period last year.  Before the terror attacks, they were just 2% behind.

Olivier Jager said: “The tragic events in Paris are having a strong impact on travel to the city and our data shows that this is continuing in the run-up to the normally busy Christmas period. The cancellation period has ended, meaning that the storm is behind us, but booking trends are not yet showing signs of recovery.”

About ForwardKeys

ForwardKeys predicts future travel patterns by crunching and analysing 14m booking transactions a day. It is used by travel marketers, retailers, hotels, destination marketing organisations (DMOs), financial institutions, car rental companies, tour operators, online travel agents (OTAs), and other traveller-focussed businesses worldwide to monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals and stay ahead of the trends from a particular origin market at a specific time.  The analysis enables them to anticipate the impact of events, better manage their staffing levels, fine tune supply requirements, adjust and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and predict future market trends. ForwardKeys’ data is retrieved daily from all the major global reservation systems worldwide.

A presentation containing all the above charts can be accessed at: www.forwardkeys.com/revenue-management/Paris-attacks.html

For more information please contact: Sophie Lui or  +44 (0) 7961 145 787, sophie.luis@tarsh.com or David Tarsh +44 (0) 20 7602 5262, david@tarsh.com.