|Photo by Freeimages.com/Benjamin Thorn|
Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced that it is suspending daily flights to Paris from Tokyo's Narita International Airport starting January 12, TTG Asia reports. The airline said that demand to the city had fallen 60 percent after November's terrorist attacks, and that a decision would be made in February on whether or not to keep the flights suspended or to resume regular operations.
According to Yahoo 7 news, the airline said it would continue flights between Tokyo's Haneda airport and Paris as those have a higher occupancy -- about 60 percent on average. JAL runs one roundtrip daily flight between Haneda and Paris.
Paris Travel Update
The move comes amid mixed signs for travel demand in Paris. According to the recently released 2016 Travel Trends Survey from Travel Leaders Group, Paris has fallen out of the top 10 international destinations travel agents are booking for next year for the first time since 2011. The survey is based on responses from 1,316 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents across Travel Leaders' business units. It was conducted November 17 - December 8, 2015.
At the same time, Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko noted that less than a percentage point separates Paris from the survey's number 10 destination, Riviera Maya in Mexico. "It's more telling that an overwhelming majority of our agents indicated they’d travel to Paris given the opportunity," Chacko said.
The survey reports that 41.6 percent of travel agents answered "Yes, absolutely," when asked if they would still travel to France at this time, with an additional 1.5 percent having plans to do so before the end of the year. 34.3 percent of travel agents indicated that their clients were continuing with their immediate or long term travel plans in France, with 45.5 percent indicating that they did not currently have any bookings for France -- something that Travel Leaders said is not atypical for late November and early December bookings.
In terms of business travel, the most recent surveys from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which were released soon after the Paris attacks, pointed to continued confidence in business travel to and within Europe.
In a survey conducted between November 18 and 20, the GBTA reported that nearly three-quarters of U.S. travel buyers said their company's travel to Europe would remain "largely unaffected" by the Paris attacks. 57 percent of respondents reported "no change" and 16 percent reported "slight reductions" in their company's travel to Europe. 93 percent of respondents said that it is important that travel to Europe continue as usual.
In a second survey conducted online between November 25 and 30, the GBTA found that 47 percent of European business travel buyers reported "no change" to their company's business travel within Europe, with another 26 percent reporting that their company's business travel within Europe was "slightly reduced."
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