Eurostar passengers up 18 percent
The high-speed train reports a 18-percent-increase in passengers and 25-percent-rise in sales in the first half of 2008 as compared to last year.17 July 2008
LONDON - Eurostar, the high-speed train between London and the European mainland, reported Wednesday an 18-percent rise in passengers in the first half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, while sales rose 24.7 percent.
The opening of a new high-speed track and international terminus at St Pancras in London on the English section of the link led to sales of GBP 368.8 million (EUR 465 million) from 296 million pounds in the same half of 2007, the company said in London.
Dearer flights as a result of increasing fuel prices and environmental concerns had encouraged more travellers to choose the train, Eurostar chief executive officer Richard Brown said.
He said that the increase in passenger numbers would probably fall off in the second half owing to the general problems in the global economy.
The introduction of the company's "Through Fare" tickets, allowing passengers to change trains in Lille, Paris or Brussels and travel on to up to 130 cities in Europe without buying a second ticket, also contributed to the rise in passengers, Brown said.
The company said it would add an extra service between London and Paris each day from September, taking the number of daily services between the two capitals.
From December, daily services between London and Brussels would increase to 11.
An upgrade of the English section of the link shaved 20 minutes of the travel time between London and the French and Belgian capitals.
It now takes two hours to reach Brussels, and two hours 15 minutes to arrive in Paris from Central London.
[dpa / Expatica]