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FIFA World Cup 2014: Amadeus reveals spike in traveller demand

FIFA World Cup 2014: Amadeus reveals spike in traveller demand

Flight bookings from Europe to Brazil for travel during the FIFA World Cup period have increased by approximately 60 per cent compared with bookings for the same period in 2013, demonstrating the clear impact of the event on demand for travel.

Analysis from Amadeus’ Travel Intelligence division shows the major impact the event is having on demand for travel to Brazil, particularly from northern European countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany, which have all seen enormous year-on-year increases in bookings departing from those markets to Brazil.

In the UK, bookings for travel in June 2014 are almost triple the number for June 2013.

Consequently, the UK is the top European originating country for travel to Brazil during this period.

Germany has seen an approximate 100 per cent increase in bookings, while bookings for air travel from France have increased by 70 per cent.

However, this surge in demand is not reflected in southern Europe, with bookings for departure from Italy, Spain and Portugal decreasing by approximately ten per cent compared to the 2013 levels.

Northern Europeans flock to Brazil – but data analysis shows many are travelling with southern European airlines.

Although bookings for travel from southern European countries to Brazil have not seen a spike for June 2014, southern European airlines are continuing to benefit.

In fact, data shows a large proportion of northern European travellers are booking with southern European carriers, and connecting in hub cities such as Lisbon, Madrid and Rome for onward travel to Brazil.

Travel agency bookings for flights to Brazil originating in European markets outside of Spain, Portugal and Italy more than doubled compared with 2013, and southern European carriers attracted a higher share of this increase than all other airlines, both in absolute and in relative terms.

However, the US is the largest intercontinental market in terms of bookings to Brazil.

Travel agency bookings for the May-August period for flights to Brazil originating in the United States have increased 68 per cent compared to the same period of 2013, a year which had already registered a strong growth.

Contrarily to the European continent, the US market’s capacity for the May-August period has increased 15 per cent.

Furthermore, the capacity in the June and July months was three per cent higher than the one registered in the May and August months.
In fact, the analysis warns that with the exception of the US, many airlines could be missing an opportunity to make the most of high traveller demand, as the decision not to add capacity is widespread across carriers.

Despite the fact that high interest in travel to Brazil during the World Cup was evident from an early stage – searches and bookings for travel from Europe to Brazil saw huge peaks after the final qualification games in October and November 2013 and on December 6th 2013, the day of the tournament’s final draw – airlines appear not to have responded by adding additional seat capacity.

Capacity from Europe to Brazil only saw an approximate six per cent increase from 2013.

As illustrated by the chart below, capacity has remained flat in the summer months of 2014 even as searches and bookings have seen dramatically high spikes, correlating with the beginning of the World Cup.

Pascal Clement, head of travel intelligence, Amadeus, commented: “Clearly, the FIFA World Cup is driving significant travel demand and we see that high search volumes have now resulted in correspondingly high booking volumes.”

He continued: “The analysis of data is interesting as it shows higher demand coming from North European countries while flat in Southern European markets.

“The apparent lack of response to these peaks in demand highlights the need for more advanced data analytics, which can help the travel industry spot and capitalise on such business opportunities.”