Eurostar says sales up 18 percent
Cross-Channel train operator Eurostar said on Thursday its first-half sales rose 18 percent as underlying demand picked up and then got a boost from massive disruption to European air traffic in April.
The company, which operates trains through the Channel tunnel, said sales rose to 404 million pounds (476 million euros, 615 million dollars) in the six months to June, with passenger numbers up six percent from the same period a year earlier to 4.6 million.
Eurostar said the disruption to air travel caused by the eruption of the Icelandic volcano in April boosted its figures but both business and leisure passenger demand was rising in any case.
After the problems caused by the global economic slump, the market began to stabilise in March 2009 and improved thereafter, helped especially by a recovery in business travel, chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said.
Petrovic noted that even disruptions to Eurostar's own services had not had a lasting impact, with passenger numbers soon picking up.
© 2010 AFP