Newsletters — April 1, 2016

Europe keeps it competitiveness says ETOA

Europe maintaining its competitive edge in long-haul markets01 Apr, 2016Recent results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer (published by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys) indicate that in the final quarter of 2015, in spite of the Paris attacks, international long haul arrivals into Europe increased by 3.1% compared with the same period in 2014. Visitors from North America, and Asia & Oceania rose strongly (+3.5% and +6.9% respectively) driven by the favourable dollar exchange rate and further momentum from emerging markets in Asia Pacific.However, the impact of the Paris attacks, the subsequent lockdown in Brussels and the tensions created by Russia’s sanctions on Turkey after the shooting down of a Russian fighter aircraft, had more of an impact closer to home, with Intra-European flows decreasing by 2.7% in the final quarter. Looking ahead, international bookings to Europe for Q1 2016 appear to be in slight decline, at 0.9% lower than in the same period a year ago. Central & South America are trending lower, mainly due to several countries in the region devaluing their currencies.Paris bookings for Q1 2016 are quite significantly affected, and are down by 16.9%.  It seems probable that the events of November 2015, rather than deterring people from travelling altogether, are encouraging visitors to look elsewhere and transfer to other cities. Already, the ForwardKeys data is showing Madrid and Barcelona up by +24.1% and +32.1% respectively in the first quarter.