Falling consumer confidence in flying has led to a nosedive
in summer bookings across Europe.
Last-minute reservations for flights within Europe were down
44% from 2019 levels as of July 10, according to new research by travel
intelligence specialist ForwardKeys. Summer
bookings from Amsterdam decreased 59% from prepandemic levels and those from
London dropped 41%.
Last-minute bookings within Europe also experienced a slowdown
in the short-term, with summer reservations falling 5% from late May to early July.
The report by Valencia, Spain-based ForwardKeys examines intra-European
reservations for July and August flights and changes in seat capacity.
Findings show that consumer confidence has steadily declined
since the last week of May. The drop in consumer confidence correlates to a
rise in partial cancellations and modifications to flight reservations, which nearly
tripled from pandemic levels for the period of May 30 to July 10, according to
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Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights at ForwardKeys,
says airports and airlines have struggled to cope with the recent resurgence of
demand, leading to “chaos for the travelers whose flights are affected.”
Ponti says he is confident that airports will eventually achieve
full staffing. But he points to several trends that concern him: rising fuel
costs, inflation and dampening demand due to travel disruptions.
“We are seeing a dramatic slowdown in last-minute flight
bookings, plus an increase in cancellations. At the end of May it seemed we
would see an exceptional summer for travel within Europe, but now it is more
likely to be just a good one."