Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, transported over 2.8m customers travelling between the UK and the continent in Q2 2015. This is the highest ever number of passengers transported on Eurostar in one quarter. This also represents a year-on-year increase of 3% in passengers compared with the same period last year (2.8m 2015: 2.7m 2014).
The uplift in the number of Business Premier passengers reported in the first three months of the year continues through the second quarter. Business Premier passenger numbers in Q2 2015 rose by 10% compared with the second quarter of last year with an increase reported on both sides of the channel.
Sales revenues for the second quarter rose by 1.5% compared with the previous year (£232m Q2 2015: £229m Q2 2014). As reported earlier this year, sales revenues in Q1 2015 were impacted by terrorist attacks in Paris and the closure of Eurotunnel following a lorry fire. As a result, overall sales revenues for H1 2015 were down 2% year-on-year. Over the first 6 months of the year passenger numbers rose by 2% (5.1m H1 2015: 5.0m H1 2014)
In Q2, Eurostar introduced its new all year round direct service to the South of France on 1 May 2015. The route, which runs between London and Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, has captured the imagination of travelers with over 88,000 tickets sold to date. The strong sales of tickets are testament to the enduring appeal of the Mediterranean and Provence which offer travelers the quintessential French holiday experience.
Whilst each of the destinations attracts a strong following during the summer months, many customers are now booking the service to Lyon for their winter ski trips. With its proximity to the French Alps, Lyon provides a convenient gateway with easy road and rail connections to a range of popular ski resorts.
Tickets for all of Eurostar’s ski services, including a direct service to Bourg St Maurice and a connecting service to Geneva and the Swiss Alps, went on sale last week and are already selling fast as passengers start to plan their winter breaks.
As the number of passengers increases, Eurostar also announces addition to its fleets. The new e320 trains, which have increased seat capacity, are on schedule to be launched at the end of the year. The first newly remodeled and redesigned train from the current fleet (known as the e300) will enter commercial service in the coming weeks.
The new trains, which boast a new livery and interiors created by the world-renowned Italian design house, Pininfarina, as well as wifi connectivity and advanced passenger information services, are set to transform the travel experience for passengers.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said, “Over the last three months we have carried more passengers than in any other quarter. With demand for our services at an all-time high we are looking forward to the arrival of our new trains. The combination of state-of-the-art design, unrivalled comfort and 20 per cent extra seats means that we are well placed to meet the growing demand as passengers increasingly opt for high speed rail over plane.”