Data reveals impact of Brussels 'lockdown'

Data reveals impact of Brussels 'lockdown'

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Flight bookings to Brussels collapsed in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks and the subsequent security lockdown in the Belgian capital.  

Latest figures show a drop of 159% since the start of the weekend, when the lockdown came in to force.

In the previous week, which directly followed the Paris attacks, bookings were 23% down.

The statistics come from travel data analyst, ForwardKeys, taking into account both daily bookings and cancellations.

Looking at the source markets for travel to Brussels, the UK was down 191%, Italy 206.5% and Austria 236%.

But virtually every source market has experienced net cancellations since the lockdown came in to force, according to ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 15 million booking transactions each day.

ForwardKeys co-founder and chief executive, Olivier Jager, said: “If bookings are 100% down that indicates that no net bookings were made.

“159% down means that in addition to no bookings being made, there were cancellations equal to 59% of the number of bookings made on the equivalent day last year.”

Analysis by type of travel reveals that business travel has been much more significantly affected by the lockdown than leisure travel, with bookings down 195% compared to 106% for leisure.

However, analysis of forward bookings shows that business travel for the weeks of December 7 and 14 are running well ahead of last year, suggesting that a significant proportion of business trips to Brussels have been postponed rather than cancelled outright.

The Brussels metro network partially reopened yesterday while crèches, kindergartens, schools and universities have also re-opened, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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