Boeing 767-300ER of Delta Air Lines at Brussels Airport
Delta Air Lines is suspending one of its two routes to Brussels amid the terrorist attacks of March 2016 there. Delta says its route between New York JFK and Brussels will remain in place, the resumption of "once at the airport provides space for international operations."
But Delta says it will suspend service between Brussels and Atlanta - Hometown airline and busiest airport - until March 2017. Delta said in a statement Saturday that made that decision "due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the reopening of Brussels airport and weakening demand. "
Flights at Brussels airport have been grounded since 22 March, when the airport was targeted in a coordinated series of terrorist attacks in Brussels. Apparently a limited flight plan could resume there on Sunday, but airport officials have already warned that it could be "months" until full capacity is restored to Brussels airport.
Despite setting service, Delta says it "remains committed to the Belgium market." The carrier adds to customers affected by the suspension of its Atlanta-Brussels route will their flights via New York or partners Air France and KLM.
Needless to say that terrorist attacks can greatly affect travel demand. I'm not just talking about the demand for travel to the city where there was an attack of this kind, but even the demand for travel in general, as some people are afraid to travel after the attacks in major cities.
For example, the terrorist attacks in Paris late last year cost an estimated 50 million Euro for Air France.
At the time of Brussels Airlines operates regional select flights out of nearby airports, while are operating their long-haul flights out of Frankfurt airport. I can not even imagine what a logistical challenge is, and how has affected them economically.
I suspect that the latest attacks in Brussels will have a more lasting impact both at the airport and tourism in Brussels in general. Since one of the bombing was in itself Brussels airport, the airport is still closed, and that could be a while before it reopens.
However, I suspect the impact will be much more durable than was in Paris, given the closure of Brussels airport and is more of a secondary market for aviation in Paris. It seems that airlines are beginning to respond to attacks from Brussels in more permanent forms.