Eurostar today reported signs of recovery in the trading environment with passenger numbers increasing year-on-year over the last eight weeks.
This uplift follows a challenging period in which demand was dampened by the terrorist attack in Nice at the end of July.
With the recent fall in sterling, the business also saw an increase in the number of passengers coming from France to the UK during the October half term holidays, with traffic up 18 per cent year-on-year during that period.
Overall, passenger numbers in the third quarter 2016 were down ten per cent compared to last year and sales revenues were eight per cent lower year-on-year, falling to £184 million.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive, Eurostar, said: “After a softening in demand over the summer, we saw an increase in travel from the continent to London during the half term holiday.
“With the weakening of the pound, the UK is proving to be an attractive destination.
“The outlook to the end of the year is encouraging with many travellers taking day trips to London to do their Christmas shopping.”
Looking ahead to next year, plans for the new direct route to Amsterdam are progressing well.
The first phase of testing of the new Eurostar e320 train on the Dutch network was completed earlier this year and the next set of tests are scheduled for early 2017.
The London-Amsterdam route is one of the largest international airline markets in Europe attracting over three million business and leisure passengers every year.
With a journey time of under four hours, Eurostar’s fast, comfortable, point-to-point service will greatly enhance the links between the UK and the continent, transforming travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.
Petrovic continued: “Over the coming months, we are making a major investment in our fleet, our service and our stations to equip our business for expansion.
“The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future.”