ETC airline survey finds 'strong business' to Europe

NEW YORK -- Major carriers to Europe reported "continued strong business from the U.S. despite the war in Kosovo," the European Travel Commission (ETC) here said.

The ETC said that the carriers it surveyed reported no significant decrease in bookings or cancellations to Europe overall. However, they were not asked whether specific gateways were experiencing losses.

The carriers surveyed were Air France, Alitalia, American, British Airways, Continental, Delta, Iberia, Northwest/KLM, SAS and United, which collectively account for more than half of the U.S.-originating traffic to Europe.

The air appraisal contrasts with reports from several U.S.-based tour operator firms that reported 15%-plus declines in Mediterranean- and eastern Europe-area bookings since the start of the NATO action, the ETC said. Escorted tours and cruises combined account for about 25% of all U.S. leisure travelers visiting Europe, the ETC said.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI