Flight bookings for France drop again after July 14 attack in Nice: Data firm

Passengers stand at an Air France desk in Nice Cote D'Azur International airport in Nice, France on July 27, 2016.
Passengers stand at an Air France desk in Nice Cote D'Azur International airport in Nice, France on July 27, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - Demand for air travel to France and Nice, the country's second most popular destination after Paris, has dropped again after an attacker killed 84 people in the city on the French Riviera on July 14, according to travel data analysis company ForwardKeys.

France's tourism industry had yet to fully recover from assaults in Paris in January and November last year, which were also claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a truck into a crowd of revellers on Nice's Promenade des Anglais.

Daily net international bookings to Nice for future arrivals, combining cancellations of previous bookings and a decline in new bookings, dropped by 57 per cent in the period July 15 to July 23, compared with the previous year, ForwardKeys said on Thursday (July 28).

ForwardKeys said flight bookings for travel in August and September were already down before the July attack but have since taken another knock.

Bookings for travel to Nice for August and September were down 14 per cent compared with last year before July 14, but are now down 19 per cent, while bookings for France as a whole are down 20 per cent, compared with a drop of 16 per cent before July 14.

"Ever since the Charlie Hebdo attack last January, France has been suffering from a reduction in tourism confidence and just as bookings started to recover, another attack has taken place," ForwardKeys co-founder and chief executive Olivier Jager said in a statement.

Air France-KLM on Wednesday raised concerns over the attractiveness of France as a destination, saying the attacks were hurting demand from travellers from Japan, China and the United States.

Analysts will also be watching quarterly earnings from Groupe ADP, which runs Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris, later today for the effects of lower travel demand on results.