New element of the report, intra-regional air capacity, grew by 7,1 percent in Q3 and sustained solid growth in Q4, +9,7 percent, as per scheduled international flights within Europe. Among best connected destinations, Moscow and Amsterdam enjoyed strong increases of regional air capacity.
Long-haul arrivals experienced an increase of 5,6 percent, 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 percent . This resulted in a small decrease (-1,6 percent) in total international arrivals in Europe during Q3.
London (18 percent share) and Paris (14 percent share) maintained their predominance as the top two destinations for long-haul travellers. Istanbul was the top growing destination in terms of share (eight percent share), increasing by two percentage points from last quarter.
Forward bookings for long haul arrivals in Q4, 2018 were ahead by 8,5 percent, fuelled by the optimistic bookings' situation for North America (13,6 percent ahead) and Middle East (13,2 percent ahead), while smaller origin regions Africa (-0.9 percent) and Central and South America) have a flat-negative outlook.
London (17 percent share) and Paris (14 percent share) are still the preferred destinations for the last quarter of the year, followed by Rome (9 percent share), representing together more than a third of arrivals in Europe. Istanbul (+51,5 percent) gains back its predominantly position in terms of growth, followed by Munich (19,8 percent) and Dubrovnik (+18,6 percent).
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: three to five pax, couples and groups of 6 or more, with medium lengths of stays (four to 13 nights), and longer lead times of 90 to more than 120 days.