THE flight reservations to destinations across the Middle East fell during the first three weeks of the war between Israel and Hamas, according to a Forward Keys analysis.
THE international air transport is declining worldwide since the start of the war in Israel and in Palestine. “This war is a catastrophic and heartbreaking human tragedy that we all see on our television screens every day”deplores Oliver Ponti, vice-president of Forward Keys. “It will certainly discourage people from traveling within the region, but it has also dented consumer confidence to travel elsewhere. As of October 6, bookings showed that global air travel in the final quarter of the year would reach 95% of its 2019 level, but as of October 27, the outlook fell by 7 points percentage and amount to 88%. »
As expected, the Forward Keys analysis shows that travel to Israel has declined significantly. This is first seen on the segment from/towards the Americas.In the three weeks following the attack, international flight bookings from the Americas fell by 10% compared to the previous three weeks.
Other countries of Middle East also experienced a sharp decline in inbound bookings with the start of the war. Over the next three weeks, reservations at Lebanonwhere the terrorist organization Hezbollah exchanged rocket fire with Israel, fell 45% compared to 2019. The decreases for Jordan And Egypt, two countries bordering Israel, were 54% and 35%. For Saudi Arabiainbound bookings increased 75% in the three weeks to October 7 compared to 2019, but fell 67% compared to the 2019 baseline in the three weeks after.
Overall, using the 2019 benchmark, bookings to the Middle East fell by 26%, with those from other parts of the world also declining, but at lower rates. Let us recall as a benchmark that in July 2023, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism declared that 12% of American travelers more had visited Israel in 2023 compared to 2019 (the base year due to covid-19 and its travel restrictions).
Globally, international bookings were down 15% compared to 2019 in the three weeks to October 7 (a traditionally less busy period). That number jumped to 20% over the next three weeks, according to Forward Keys.