Eurostar boosted by return of business travel confidence

Eurostar boosted by return of business travel confidence

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between mainland Europe and the UK, today reported continued, strong growth in both sales revenues and passenger numbers during the first quarter of 2014. 

Compared to same period in 2013, total sales revenues grew by seven per cent to £227 million while total passenger numbers increased by three per cent to 2.3 million.

During the first three months of the year, Eurostar has seen signs that growing economic confidence has translated into stronger business travel bookings on both sides of the channel. 

During the period growth in sales of Eurostar’s Business Premier Class of travel has continued with passenger volumes up six per cent.

This trend, first reported in the second half of 2013 and related largely to the UK corporate travel market, has now begun to take hold in Eurostar’s other core markets. 

This positive corporate sentiment has contributed to Eurostar’s strong performance and demonstrates the resilience of those businesses with a foothold on both sides of the English Channel.

Commenting on the first quarter performance Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “The improvement we have seen in the corporate travel market in recent months underpins the strong performance reported today. 

“Coupled with the benign winter weather which saw far lower levels of weather-related disruption than in previous years, the first quarter has set us on course for continued growth throughout the year.”

Strong sales of leisure tickets have also continued throughout the period with passenger volumes up three per cent compared to the same period in 2013. 

The year-on-year growth has been delivered despite the fact that the 2014 Easter holidays fall outside the first quarter of the year. 

Traditionally a period with high volumes of leisure travel bookings, the absence of Easter ticket sales contribution from the first quarter figures highlights the underlying resilience of the leisure travel market. 

Demand for services among leisure travellers continues to grow across all Eurostar’s core markets and the spring booking horizon is “encouraging”, a statement from the organisation said.