Business traveller boost drives Eurostar revenues

26 Jul 2006

--Total sales of £259.9 million in the first six months of 2006--11% increase in business ticket sales--Punctuality rises to a half-year record of 91%--More than 3.7 million travellers in the first half of 2006
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK with the Continent, saw traveller numbers rise again in the first six months of 2006, with a strong increase in business ticket sales.
Total sales in the first half of 2006 grew by 6% to a record £259.9 million, compared to £246.1 million in the same period in 2005, with a total of 3.73 million travellers using Eurostar in the first half of 2006.
Eurostar's seamless city-centre to city-centre journeys, combined with its unique 'Business Premier' onboard environment and unparalleled punctuality, continue to draw in more business travellers. During the opening six months of the year sales of business tickets grew by 11%.
Punctuality, which is now at 91%, means Eurostar continues to outperform the airlines operating on London-Paris and London-Brussels routes by a considerable margin.
Simon Montague, Director of Communications, Eurostar, said: "Business travellers are choosing Eurostar for travel between London, Paris and Brussels because of the speed and city centre-to-city centre convenience of our trains, combined with our business-focused service on board.
Eurostar has also seen good growth in the leisure market in the first half with major sports events boosting sales. Many football fans chose to travel to the World Cup in Germany by high-speed rail using Eurostar to connect with other European operators.
Simon Montague added: "Our partnership with The Da Vinci Code, the blockbuster movie, is generating strong interest in overseas markets, with travel agents reporting increased sales on our London-Paris trains as fans of the film look to follow in the footsteps of its stars."
In autumn 2007, Eurostar will move its London terminal from Waterloo International to St. Pancras International, with the completion of the second section of the UK's first high-speed line. Journey times will be even faster with Brussels just 1h 51m away from London and Paris just 2h 15m.
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Editor's Notes:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last eight years at the World Travel Awards.
3. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
4. In autumn 2007, Eurostar will switch from Waterloo International to St. Pancras International. Journey times will fall further with London-Paris down to 2h 15m; London-Brussels in 1h 51m and London-Lille just 1h 20m.
5. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com, call 08705 186186 or contact your travel agent.
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7922 4494press.office@eurostar.co.uk