International summer season bookings for air travel to all American destinations are currently 26.8 per cent behind where they were at the equivalent moment last year, according to new research.
Analysis from travel analytics company ForwardKeys reveals bookings have fallen in all markets, including North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
The setback in bookings started with the Covid-19 outbreak in the second half of January and has continued to March when cancellations are now exceeding new bookings.
Bookings for June are 31.4 per cent behind and for July and August are 24.6 per cent and 23.3 per cent behind respectively.
However, ForwardKeys’ study also reveals that 17 per cent of summer season bookings are typically made in the period September-January, 29 per cent in the period February-April, which looks likely to be the peak of the Covid-19 crisis and the associated travel restrictions, and 53 per cent between May and August.
Therefore, if the world starts to recover from the worst of the outbreak around the end of April, there is still time for a rapid booking recovery to rescue the summer season.
Olivier Ponti, vice president, insights, ForwardKeys, said: “What this analysis reveals is how late people actually book.
“With the temporary freeze on bookings induced by the Covid-19 crisis and associated travel restrictions, it is likely that summer booking will be even more last-minute in nature, owing to pent up demand.
“However, when the recovery comes, it will not affect source markets and destinations equally; so to understand how strong it is, it will be crucial to keep careful tabs on what flights are and are not in service and how well bookings for each market are progressing.”
ForwardKeys helps its clients measure and improve the effectiveness of their marketing and operations; anticipate the impact of events; and capitalise on future trends.
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