– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: New flight bookings to Paris, one of the world’s most visited cities, have fallen by over a quarter in the week following attacks there that killed 130 people.
Bookings to Paris from customers around the world were 27 percent lower for the Nov. 14-Nov. 21 period compared to the same week in 2014, according to data provided by travel information firm ForwardKeys.
Chief executive Olivier Jager attributed the fall in bookings primarily to leisure travelers, rather than business visitors or those coming to see family and friends.
“The cancellation period has ended … but booking trends are not yet showing signs of recovery,” he said in an interview before the data was released on Tuesday. “It’s going to take many months.”
ForwardKeys said that bookings for the Christmas period were trailing last year’s level by 13 percent.
In the week after the attacks on Friday Nov. 13, booking cancellations were 21 percent higher than in the same period last year, but in recent days the level of cancellations had stabilized at around the same level as last year.
France is normally the most-visited country in the world, with Paris hosting 32.2 million visitors last year.
Air France AIRF.PA has experienced some reduction in traffic following the attacks, but it is too early to quantify, a company source said last week.
Low-cost carrier easyJet EZJ.L said on Tuesday that it had seen a “cooling off” in demand for travel to France.
ForwardKeys processes data from 14 million flight reservations a day from across the world, Jager said.
— Phuket Gazette Editors
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