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Brussels Suffers Major Flight Cancellations


Brussels Suffers Major Flight Cancellations


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 daily bookings and cancellations, show a drop of 159% since the beginning of the weekend, when the lockdown came into force. In the previous week, which directly followed the Paris attacks, bookings were 23% down.

Olivier Jager, Co-founder and Chief Executive, ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 15 million reservation transactions each day, said: “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 into 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 7th and 14th December 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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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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