Eurostar has reported record sales revenues and passenger numbers for 2018, underpinned by a buoyant business travel market, strong US traveller numbers and the launch of a new service between London and Amsterdam.
Some 11 million passengers travelled by Eurostar in 2018, representing a seven per cent increase compared with 2017 and the highest ever number of travellers in a single year.
This year marks the celebration of 25 years of Eurostar with over 190 million passengers since services began in 1994.
Sales revenues increased by 12 per cent year-on-year, to £989 million, while the company today reported a preliminary unaudited operating profit of £97 million in 2018.
The business travel market grew by 12 per cent in 2018, testament to the enduring popularity of Eurostar’s Business Premier service which offers travellers complete flexibility, ten-minute check-in and a range of sustainable menu options on board in partnership with Michelin starred chef, Raymond Blanc.
The number of US travellers incorporating the Eurostar experience in their tour of Europe also increased in 2018.
US passenger numbers grew by seven per cent year-on-year, with travellers continuing to enjoy the ease, speed and convenience of the high-speed rail link between Europe’s most iconic capital cities.
Leisure traffic last year was boosted by the success of Eurostar’s new service between London and Amsterdam.
The high-speed rail link between London and the Netherlands, which marks its first anniversary next month, has seen over a quarter of a million passengers travelling since launch in April last year.
To meet consumer demand, Eurostar has put tickets on sale for a third daily service starting in June this year and committed to introducing additional services as soon as the governments have put border controls in place for the Amsterdam-London leg of the journey.
Mike Cooper, chief executive, Eurostar, said: “Over the last 25 years Eurostar has led the way in cross-Channel travel, cementing the links between the UK and mainland Europe.
“The popularity of our new service between London and Amsterdam shows the growing appetite among customers for international high-speed rail travel and a sustainable alternative to the airlines.”