Last updated: 02:59 PM ET, Wed December 09 2015

Air France Losing Money On Paris Routes Since Attack

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | December 09, 2015

Air France Losing Money On Paris Routes Since Attack

Photo courtesy of Air France

It is, arguably, one of the most popular airline routes in the world – anywhere to Paris, the universal City of Light and City of Love.

But those trips took a slight dip last month in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the city, causing Air France-KLM to suffer revenue losses of $54 million after numerous canceled trips, the airline said Tuesday.

The attacks on Nov. 13 killed 130 people and injured more than 200 others. Prior to the attacks, the airline’s traffic numbers were tracking higher than during the same period last year.  

Last month, however, load factor dropped 0.9 percent after the attacks – not enough for airline officials to be concerned going forward, but enough to make an appreciable difference in the bottom line.

“The impact was pretty much concentrated on the local traffic to and from Paris,” Pierre-Francois Riolacci, chief financial officer for Air France-KLM, said during a conference call.

Airlines weren’t the only entity to suffer consequences, however. Newsweek reported that Parisian hotels saw a 15 to 20 percent decline in guest numbers a week after the attacks, and the number of people eating in restaurants also fell by 10 percent, said Emmanuel Macron, France’s economy minister.

Paris welcomed 46 million tourists who pumped about $23 billion in revenue into city coffers in 2014.

According to CNNMoney, tourism is the number one industry in Paris with nearly 500,000 jobs in the city and its immediate surroundings relying on the industry. The number of tourists who canceled trips to the city in the week following the attacks jumped by 21 percent compared to the same week last year. And bookings for Christmas — normally a busy period in Paris — were down 13 percent in the aftermath of the attack.

However, Air France officials said that despite a belief that the reduced bookings will carry over into the new year, they believe it will return to normal levels shortly thereafter.

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