Summer long-haul travel to Europe down on security worries

September 8, 2016 8:28 AM EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Long-haul air travel to Europe dropped over the summer holiday season and bookings for the coming month are also down on last year after deadly attacks deterred travelers, travel data analysis company ForwardKeys said on Thursday.

The number of long-haul passengers arriving in Europe from June to August dropped 0.9 percent despite a strong start helped by the European soccer championships, said ForwardKeys, which analyses over 14 million airline booking transactions a day.

Attacks in Paris in January and November last year were followed this year by suicide bombers targeting the Brussels transport system and mass killings in Nice on July 14, all claimed by Islamist militants. Turkey has seen a spate of incidents, while Germany also saw attacks on a train and at a music festival in July.

For the coming month, long-haul bookings to Europe are down 1.4 percent compared with a year ago, the study said.

"High-profile events such as UEFA's European Cup and World Youth Day in Poland could not offset the damage caused by security concerns," ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager said in a statement.

Arrivals for France dropped 9.6 percent in June-August, Turkey was down 26.7 percent, Belgium dropped 21.4 percent and Germany, Italy and Britain also saw long-haul arrivals fall by between 1.3 and 4 percent, according to the study.

However, destinations such as Spain, Portugal, and less popular ones such as Ireland and Scandinavia saw increases.

In addition, arrivals into Russia were up 18.2 percent, driven by Chinese travelers, ForwardKeys said, although overall arrivals from China to Europe dropped 3.7 percent over the summer and arrivals from Japan fell 18 percent.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Mark Potter)



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