Eurostar achieves record results in third quarter 2006

16 Oct 2006

--Traveller numbers up 9.9% to new record of 2.15 million--Sales revenue up 21% to £130 million--Eurostar trains deliver 91.4 % punctuality
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK with the Continent, saw very strong growth in traveller numbers and ticket sales, and record punctuality in the third quarter of 2006.
Between July and September, Eurostar carried 2.15 million travellers - the biggest ever number for the third quarter and up 9.9% against the same period in 2005. This record flow was swelled by thousands of extra passengers who switched from plane to train following the security disruption at UK airports which began on 10 August 2006.
Total sales in the third quarter of 2006 were £130.4 million - up 21% from £107.9m on the same time last year. The business market continued to perform very strongly with Eurostar's business ticket sales up by 27%.
On-time train performance in the third quarter averaged 91.4%. This includes a week in September where Eurostar recorded its best ever weekly punctuality of 98%. Eurostar continues to convincingly outperform the punctuality of rival airlines.
Environmental concerns have also emerged as a growing issue for travellers planning journeys between the UK and the Continent. Both business and leisure travellers have increasingly asked Eurostar for information about the environmental impact of their journeys.
Independent research, commissioned by Eurostar and published last month, has shown that a passenger who flies between London and Paris or Brussels generates ten times more emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) than one who goes by Eurostar high-speed train.
A passenger making a return flight generates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus, compared with only enough CO2 to fill a Mini if going by train.
Simon Montague, Director of Communications, Eurostar, said: "It has been an outstanding third quarter for Eurostar. The surge in traveller numbers has been driven by the delays at UK airports. Business travellers in particular are continuing to switch to Eurostar from the airlines.
"We have been surprised and pleased at the increasing number of passengers who say that the environment is a growing reason for switching to Eurostar, and who are prepared to make Eurostar part of longer, connecting rail journeys than in the past. We now expect concern about transport emissions to become an increasingly important factor in passengers' travel decisions in future."
"The Q3 figures also show clearly that the inbound tourism market to the UK has fully recovered from the effects of the terrorist attacks in London in July 2005."
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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. In autumn 2007, Eurostar's London terminal will switch from Waterloo International to St. Pancras International. Journey times will reduce by 20 minutes, with London-Paris in 2h 15m, London-Brussels in 1h 51m and London-Lille in just 1h20m. Eurostar will also launch services from Ebbsfleet International, a new UK station near junction 2 of the M25 motorway in north Kent.
3. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last nine years at the World Travel Awards.
4. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
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