Travel analytics firm ForwardKeys has released a report stating that the recent Israel-Hamas conflict has negatively impacted not only flights to and from the Middle East but also caused a global slowdown in the aviation industry. According to their analysis, flight bookings have decreased by 5 percentage points (p.p.) in the three weeks following Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th, when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The study compared flight bookings during the three weeks before October 7th with those during the same period after the attack.
Looking at outbound travel, flight bookings from the Middle Eastern countries fell by 9 p.p. since the outbreak of war. From the Americas, they slowed by 10 p.p., whilst Asia Pacific, Europe (including Israel) and Africa each slowed by 2 p.p.
From a destination perspective, the growth in bookings to all regions of the world has slowed down, apart from Africa, which has continued to recover towards 2019 levels. Flight bookings to the Americas are down by 6 p.p., to Europe by 3 p.p., to the Asia Pacific by 1 p.p. and to the Middle East by 26 p.p.
Within the region affected by the Israel-Hamas conflict, Israel has suffered the worst, with many airlines having cancelled flights. In the period since October 7th, flight bookings plummeted by 155 p.p. (*A fall in bookings of over 100% indicates that in addition to there being no new bookings, there have also been cancellations, depleting the existing stock of bookings.) It is followed by Saudi Arabia, down 67 p.p., Jordan, down 54 p.p., Lebanon, down 45 p.p., and Egypt, down 35 p.p. Flight bookings to GCC nations have declined by 25 p.p.
Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights, ForwardKeys, said: This Israel-Hamas conflict is a catastrophic, heartbreaking, human tragedy that we are all seeing daily on our TV screens. It is bound to put people off travelling to the region, but also has dented consumer confidence in travelling elsewhere too.
As of October 6th, bookings showed that global air travel in the last quarter of the year, Q4, would reach 95% of its 2019 level, but, as of 27th October, the outlook has fallen back by 7 p.p. and stands at 88%. The equivalent change in outlook for the Middle East is much more sobering, falling back 16 p.p. to 110%, from 126%, before the war began, he adds.
Founded in 2010, ForwardKeys has pioneered the way forward for tourism organisations, hotels, and retailers keen to understand who is travelling where, when, and for how long. Weve managed to share such information by having the most comprehensive ticketing data covering the globe from online bookings to travel agencies and airlines. From ticketing data to Seat Capacity and Total Air Market (TAM), the variety of datasets means you get a 360-degree view of the real travel ecosystem.