Israel-Hamas War Leaves Airlines Struggling With Major Slow Down in Bookings

By Jessel Renolayan

Nov 15, 2023 12:11 AM EST

Airlines are grappling with a significant decline in bookings following the conflict between Israel and Hamas as people cancel trips to the Middle East and nearby countries.

According to travel analytics firm ForwardKeysinternational flight bookings were 20 percent below 2019 pre-pandemic levels in the three weeks after the attack on October 7 and five percent below the period of three weeks before the attack. 

Newark Airport
(Photo : Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Flight Bookings Are Declining Since the Start of Israel-Hamas War

International flight bookings have experienced a decline since the start of the Israel-Hamas conflict, particularly in the Americas. Many travelers opted to cancel their flights to the Middle East and other global destinations, CNBC reported.

For outbound travel, ForwardKeys reported that flight bookings from Middle Eastern countries fell by nine percent since the outbreak of war. 

From the Americas, flight bookings slowed by 10 percent, while Asia Pacific, Africa, and Europe, including Israel, each slowed by two percentage points.

"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," said Olivier Ponti, Vice President of Insights at ForwardKeys.  

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Global Travel Demand Has Experienced a Notable Weakening 

Since the deadly events on October 7, when the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas claimed the lives of 1,400 people in southern Israel, global travel demand has experienced a notable weakening. 

ForwardKeys reported that the growth in bookings to all regions of the world, from a destination perspective, has slowed down, except for Africa, which has continued to recover since 2019.

Flight bookings to the Middle East are reportedly down by six percentage points, Asia Pacific by one percentage point, and Europe by three percentage points. In response to the attacks, Israel initiated air and ground strikes in Gaza, with Palestinian authorities reporting a tragic toll of over 10,000 lives lost.

The profound impact of these events has affected the international travel landscape, contributing to the downturn in travel demand as the region grapples with the devastating consequences of the conflict.

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