Eurostar boosted by ash cloud

Eurostar boosted by ash cloud

High-speed rail operator Eurostar saw passenger numbers rise by 6 percent to 4.6 million and revenues increase by 18 percent to £404 million during the first half of 2010.

The high-speed rail operator cited the impact of the ash cloud for the growth as part of a wider switch from flying short-haul to train in both leisure and business sectors.

During the ash cloud disruption Eurostar put on 70 extra trains and carried 100,000 more passengers than were scheduled to travel at that time.

Eurostar said that shorter journey times to the South of France, Germany and the Netherlands are also prompting customers to take advantage of the ease and comfort of city centre to city centre travel. 

The number of international passengers is also on the increase as visitors from the US and Australia, in particular. June reported a very strong performance in international sales revenues which were up 24 percent in comparison to the same period last year.

ADVERTISEMENT

To meet the increase in demand for its services over the summer, Eurostar has also announced that during August it will put on 20 extra trains – four each weekend – between London and Paris.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “Over the last six months, we have delivered strong growth in both business and leisure bookings. As the economic environment has strengthened we have seen an uplift in the business market and an overall increase in the number of passengers travelling.

“Whilst our core routes continue to be busy more and more people are opting to travel further afield and explore new destinations by train. Forward bookings are looking strong and with the increasing appetite for high speed rail travel in Europe, the trend looks set to continue.”