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Eurostar upbeat despite shaky 2003

Published on 12/01/2004

12 January 2004

BRUSSELS – High speed  train operator Eurostar was in confident mood on Monday despite confirming that it had not had an easy 2003.

The company’s latest figures showed that overall it carried 4% fewer travellers last year than in 2002, a fall Eurostar blames on the war in Iraq.

But the firm was also quick to point out that its end of year performance represented one of the company’s best ever results.

Between October and December the service carried 1.69, million passengers on its two services through the channel tunnel that link London with Paris and Brussels. The figure represents a 15 percent increase on the same period in 2003, Eurostar managers said.

“Although 2003 started off with a bleak outlook and low consumer confidence, a mix of the new high speed line, a fresh management and a refocused strategy has enabled Eurostar to begin 2004 – its tenth anniversary year – in upbeat mood,” Eurostar’s director of communications Paul Charles told journalists.

In September 2003 a new section of high speed track was opened between the channel tunnel and London, cutting journey times by around 25 minutes.
Earlier this month the company also announced a new service between Brussels and London that does not stop at the French city of Lille, shaving another 15 minutes of journey times.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news