The International Air Transport Association (IATA), recently stated that terrorist attacks in Western Europe in late-2015 and early-2016 reduced European airlines’ international passenger traffic by an estimated 1.6% in the following year compared to what would otherwise have happened.
IATA estimated that this reduced European airlines’ 2016 revenues by around $2.5b, adding that by contrast to previous major shock events such as after 9/11, the impact has been only temporary.
European carriers were hit the hardest, stressing that the most visible impact of the terrorist attacks in Western Europe in late-2015 and early-2016 was on international RPKs flown by European carriers; such traffic fell below its trend level following the Paris attacks in November 2015.
International RPKs, started to rise again immediately afterwards in seasonally adjusted (SA) terms, but the upward trend was interrupted following the Brussels bombing in March 2016.
Given that European airlines’ international traffic accounts for around 24 per cent of industry-wide RPKs, this impact was felt at a global level too: the SA upward trend in industry-wide RPKs moderated during H1 2016.
European airlines’ international traffic only started recovering fully from June 2016 onwards, when it began growing faster than its trend pace.