Eurostar welcomes five million passengers in six months

Eurostar welcomes five million passengers in six months

Eurostar has reported continued growth in both passenger volumes and sales revenues in the first half of 2014, with passenger numbers up two per cent in the first six months of the year.

The service carried five million passengers during the period, up from 4.9 million in 2013.

Sales revenues also grew by 0.5 per cent, to £456 million, from £453 million in the first six months of 2013.

While Eurostar has reported growth in both passenger numbers and sales revenues, the half year figures have been impacted negatively by a number of factors in the second quarter which, in combination, resulted in a softening in demand for leisure travel.

These factors include the convergence of the Easter and May holidays in the UK which saw consumers travelling only once where they might normally have booked two trips. 

Additionally, there was also a softening in demand for holiday destinations in northern Europe as well as the so called ‘World Cup effect’ which has seen many households delay or postpone their spending on leisure travel until after the final match.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive, Eurostar, said: “While a number of factors in the second quarter of the year lead to a dampening in demand, we are now beginning to see a more benign trading environment with encouraging signs of economic stability in France as well as the UK. 

“These more favourable conditions have helped deliver strong growth in business travel across our markets.”

During the first half of the year, Eurostar has seen stronger levels of business travel bookings with the volume of business passengers rising six per cent compared to the same period in 2013. 

As well as the strengthening of the economy reported in the UK in recent quarters, Eurostar is now also seeing some improvement in France with encouraging signs of growth in business travel on both sides of the Channel. 

The return to more normal levels of growth reflects signs of greater stability in the Eurozone economies.