The travel data firm’s report says the hike coincides with announcements made by southern Europe authorities bent on rebooting Summer 2020 travel. ForwardKeys VP of Insights Olivier Ponti announced that the European aviation market was:
“…in a state of suspended animation with nearly no new bookings, when governments tell people they are again allowed to travel, bookings immediately start to come back.”
Greece, Portugal, and Spain have recently announced an easing of restrictions in order to save what’s left of the tourist season those countries depend on so desperately. The ForwardKeys data indicates that 2020 booking levels are still way behind 2019, but there were noticeable spikes at the time of announcements
On May 20, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the country would open its doors to foreign tourists from July 1. Similar announcements were then made by Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva and Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s Prime Minister.
According to Forwardkeys, markets reacted immediately and between May 20 – June 3, the number of international flight tickets issued for Greece increased from effectively zero to 35 per cent of what they were during the same period in 2019.
In the 12 days from May 22, – June 3, the number of international flight tickets issued for Portugal, rose from effectively zero to 35 per cent of what they were during the same period in 2019 and in the 11 days from May 23 – June 3, the uplift in Spain has reached 30 per cent. Forwardkeys also added this:
“A closer analysis by type of traveler reveals that there has been a very similar pattern of recovery in all destinations. Leisure travelers account for the bulk of new tickets, but recovery has been stronger amongst ex-pats and people visiting friends and relatives (VFR). In that niche, air tickets to Greece, Portugal, and Spain, reached 89 percent, 87 percent, and 54 percent of 2019 levels, respectively.”
Mr. Ponti also pointed out that bookings for Greece, Portugal, and Spain are respectively 49.8%, 52% and 53.5% behind where they were at the beginning of June 2019. The data exec also said rescuing the season will be a tough go given the situation.