Travel analytics firm ForwardKeys has released a report detailing how the Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territory conflict has impacted the global aviation industry.
“This war is a catastrophic, heartbreaking, human tragedy that we are all seeing daily on our TV screens,” opened Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights, ForwardKeys.
The report, based on actual air ticket data, has compared flight bookings before and after the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October.
According to ForwardKeys, global flight bookings have decreased by 5 percentage points (pp) in the three weeks since 7 October compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Outbound flight bookings to the Middle East fell by 9pp since 7 October. From the Americas, ticket bookings fell by 10pp, while Europe (including Israel) and Africa fell by 2pp.
Bookings to all regions of the world have slowed, with the exception of Africa which continues to recover to 2019 levels.
Flights to the Americas have fallen by 6pp, with Europe down 3pp. Journeys to Asia Pacific have slipped by 1pp. The biggest declines were to the Middle East, which shrank by 26pp.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Israel saw the biggest fall in flight numbers with many airlines cancelling routes. Bookings have fallen by 155pp, a figure that shows no new ticket sales and cancellations, ForwardKeys said.
Saudi Arabia saw flight bookings decrease by 67pp, followed by Jordan (-54pp), Lebanon (-45pp), and Egypt (-35pp). Flights to Gulf Cooperation Council nations declined by 25pp.
Ponti said the ongoing violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was likely to deter travel, and that it had hit consumer confidence elsewhere, too.
“As of 6 October, bookings showed that global air travel in the last quarter of the year would reach 95% of its 2019 level,” he explained.
“But, as of 27 October, the outlook has fallen back by seven percentage points. and stands at 88%.
“The equivalent change in outlook for the Middle East is much more sobering, falling back 16pp to 110%, from 126%, before the war began.”
Last month, ForwardKeys shared its 2024 travel trends .