Due to the war in Ukraine, the number of flight bookings within Europe is falling, and the biggest drop in demand is recorded in Eastern Europe, reports Croatian Aviation.
A company that collects and analyzes data on travel, Forward Keys, published data on the movement of demand for flights after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The data compares reservations from February 24 to March 2 with those in the week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
With Ukraine and Moldova, which closed their airspace, and Russia and Belarus excluded from the list of destinations and marked with a warning of questionable safety, the largest decline in reservations was recorded by countries closest to the conflict. Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia fell by 30 to 50 percent.
Other European countries, with the exception of Belgium, Iceland, and Serbia, saw a drop ranging from 10 to 30 percent. In Belgium, Iceland, and Serbia, the decline was in the single digits.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted a recovery in reservations that began in January after the Omicron coronavirus variant peaked in many countries, Forward Keys Vice President Olivier Ponti concluded. Its impact on transatlantic travel and destinations in Western Europe is not as great as Ponti feared. Americans’ reservations for travel to Europe fell by 13 percent.
Russia was one of the world’s best-performing markets during the pandemic, and the invasion of Ukraine blocked its ties with the world and halved domestic air travel reservations. Russia now has only one European air corridor left over Serbia, and in the week after the invasion, about 60 percent more plane tickets were issued than in January as a whole. In the same period, the final destination of 40 percent of transfers via Serbia was Montenegro, and the rest included Cyprus, France, Switzerland, and Italy.
“The speed with which Serbia turned into a door for travel between Russia and Europe is striking,” Ponti concludes.
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