The latest results from the Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer*, produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys, highlighted that arrivals from all long-haul travellers enjoyed single-digit growth and went up by an overall 5.6%, not balancing enough the decrease of the intra-European arrivals (-7.8%) which represented half of International arrivals during Q3 2018.

European intra-regional air capacity is healthily growing

New element of the report, intra-regional air capacity, grew by 7.1% in Q3 and will sustain solid growth in Q4, +9.7%, as per scheduled international flights within Europe. Among best-connected destinations, Moscow and Amsterdam will enjoy solid increases of regional air capacity.

Long-haul arrivals increased by 5.6% in Q3 2018 compared to Q3 2017

Long-haul arrivals experienced an increase of 5.6%, with all long-haul sub-continents getting single-digit growth. However, intra-European travel showed a very poor performance with a decrease of 7.8%. This resulted in a small decrease (-1.6%) in total international arrivals in Europe during Q3.

London and Paris are still dominating the top 2 destinations

London (18% share) and Paris (14% share) maintained their predominance as the top two destinations for long-haul travellers. Istanbul was the top growing destination in terms of share (8% share), increasing by 2 percentage points from last quarter.

Forward bookings for the fourth quarter are more optimistic than Q3 2018

Forward bookings for long haul arrivals in Q4 are ahead by 8.5%, fuelled by the optimistic bookings’ situation for North America (13.6% ahead) and Middle East (13.2% ahead), while smaller origin regions Africa (-0.9%) and Central & South America) have a flat-negative outlook.
London (17% share) and Paris (14% share) are still the preferred destinations for the last quarter of the year, followed by Rome (9% share), representing together more than a third of arrivals in Europe. Istanbul (+51.5%) gains back its predominantly position in terms of growth, followed by Munich (19.8%) and Dubrovnik (+18.6%).

Stronger growth in the leisure travellers’ segment than in the business travellers’ segment

The traveller profile for long-haul arrivals maintained a growing leisure-related behaviour. This was indicated as segments typically associated with leisure travel grew the most: 3 to 5 pax, couples and groups of 6 or more, with medium lengths of stays (4 to 13 nights), and longer lead times of 90 to more than 120 days.

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