International travel demand falls after onset of Israel-Hamas conflict, data shows

By Doyinsola Oladipo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – International flight bookings around the world have fallen since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict especially in the Americas as people cancel trips to the Middle East and around the world, according to travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.

Global travel demand has weakened since the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas killed 1,400 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7, and Israel responded with air and ground strikes on Gaza that Palestinian authorities say have killed over 10,000 people.

“This war is a catastrophic, heartbreaking, human tragedy that we are all seeing daily on our TV screens,” said Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys in a statement. “That is bound to put people off (from) traveling to the region, but it has also dented consumer confidence in traveling elsewhere too.”

International flight bookings from the Americas dropped 10% in the three weeks after the Oct. 7th attack, when compared to the number of tickets issued three weeks before the attack, according to flight ticketing data from ForwardKeys.

People in the Middle East have also been traveling less with international flight tickets issued in the region having fallen 9% in the same period. International flight bookings to travel to the region plummeted 26% in the three weeks following the attack.

International flight bookings fell 5% across regions on average, impacting the global rebound in international travel from the pandemic.

Bookings one day before that attack showed that global air travel in the last quarter of the year would recover 95% of 2019 levels, but as of late October the outlook has fallen back to 88%, Ponti said.

(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo in New York)