Eurostar on a roll
10 March 2004
BRUSSELS – The Eurostar train service, which links London and Brussels through the channel tunnel, had a bumper month in February, the company announced on Tuesday.
Eurostar said it carried a record 1.02 million passengers last month, both on its London-Brussels service and on its run between the UK capital and Paris.
The company said the increased passenger numbers are a direct result of the new high-speed train line that opened in the UK last September and has shaved around 25 minutes off of Eurostar journey times.
The new line has also meant more Eurostar trains are now on time, the company said. Last month 92.2 percent of Eurostars arrived at their destinations when they were supposed to, compared with just 70.8 percent a year earlier.
Analysts say the train service is now starting to have a serious effect on airlines that fly between London and Brussels and London and Paris.
British Airways and BMI have both reduced the number of flights they offer on these routes, while last month saw cut-price airline Ryanair announce that it will end services between London and Belgium altogether.
Eurostar’s good news has not been echoed by channel tunnel operators Eurotunnel.
Last month the firm warned that it could go bust if it is not allowed to re-restructure its massive debt.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news