Brussels attacks: Flight bookings decline after deadly attacks in Belgium's capital

James Nickerson
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Deadly attacks struck Brussels earlier this month (Source: Getty)

In the days following the tragic Brussels attacks flight bookings to the Belgian capital severely declined as terrorism once again had an impact on international travel.

The bomb attacks in Brussels led to a 136 per cent fall in net bookings in the days following 22 March compared to previous year.

"[The] analysis confirms what many must have suspected, that once again terrorism is having a fundamental impact on international travel," said Olivier Jager, chief executive of ForwardKeys, which compiled the research.

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"The immediate effect of the Brussels bombings has been greater than the aftermath of the attacks on Paris in November last year when net bookings fell by 101 per cent. This can be explained by the fact that the Brussels attacks led to the full closure of the city’s airport," he added.

After the initial shock and wave of cancellations following the attacks on an airport and metro station, cancellations began to return to last year's levels. But new bookings remain low, down 32 per cent on the previous year.

Read more: Concerns about terrorism are pushing up prices in "safe" holiday hubs

"The recovery in new bookings is what will drive Brussels’ arrival performance for the coming six months. It will require a fully functional airport and regained confidence from bookers, especially when arranging group trips. It’s possible that the summer holidays might see more last-minute bookings as a result," Jager continued.

The analysis comes after research released last week found that the cost of short haul destinations such as Ibiza and Menorca had risen as Britons seek out "safe" holiday destinations, shunning the likes of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.

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