In total, 2.6 million passengers used the service during the quarter, compared with 2.4 million a year ago. The fire on a shuttle in the Channel Tunnel in September last year depressed the Q3 2008 results but sales are also helped by growth in the leisure market and a bottoming-out in the decline of business travel.
Ticket sales between January and September 2009 totalled £504.9 million and since the beginning of the year Eurostar has welcomed 6.9 million travellers.
“Today’s figures show that despite tough times, people are increasingly realising the great benefit of travelling with Eurostar,” said the company’s chief executive Richard Brown.
“These individuals are part of what we call the ‘Eurostar Generation’; travellers who over the past decade and a half have experienced significant changes to the way they live, work and play as the network of high-speed rail services steadily grows.”
Although the market remains tought Brown added that, “In recent weeks a number a number of our major corporate clients have eased their business travel restrictions. Although it is early days, this may be a sign of an upturn.”