Eurostar boosted by growth in business travellers and leisure travellers to south of France.

17 Apr 2007

--Q1 2007 sales of £142 million – up 13.2%--Traveller numbers up by 5.4% to 1.79 million in first quarter--Punctuality of 91%
Eurostar, the high speed passenger train that links the UK with France and Belgium, saw strong revenues in the first three months of the year with ticket sales reaching £142 million – an increase of 13.2% against the same period in 2006.
Business travellers rose by 14.5% during Q1 2007 and generated an 18.15% rise in business ticket revenue on Q1 2006 as more passengers switched to Business Premier, which is dedicated to supporting the productivity of travellers en route. Eurostar also saw exceptionally high growth in 'connecting' ticket sales for travel from the UK to the south of France – combining travel on Eurostar with a journey on a high-speed French TGV service. Ticket sales to destinations such as Nice, Montpellier and Avignon rose by 39% against the first quarter of 2006.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, commented: "Eurostar has delivered another strong quarter of growth across both business and leisure travellers. I am genuinely surprised and pleased at the big rises in both business travel and connecting leisure journeys to the south of France. The increases are strong evidence that travellers are already voting with their feet and switching to a greener form of transport to reach their destinations."
Leisure travellers grew by 4.2%, including a 18.4% growth in Leisure Select, as more travellers upgraded to enjoy the even greater comfort and at-seat meal and drinks service.
Eurostar international ticket sales (those outside the UK, France and Belgium) also grew - rising by 25.4% against the same period last year. The total number of travellers during the quarter was up 5.4% to 1.79 million, against the same period last year.
During the first three months of the year (January-March 2007) 91% of Eurostar trains arrived on time or early. Eurostar's outstanding punctuality record on both its core routes of London-Paris and London-Brussels has been a key factor in maintaining continued growth in business traveller numbers.
- ends -Editor's Notes:
1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar will launch services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Journey times on the UK's first high-speed line will be: London – Paris 2h 15min; London – Brussels 1h 51min; London - Lille 1h 20min. Journey times to and from Ebbsfleet International will be 10 minutes shorter.
3. Independent research has shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris / Brussels generates ten times less carbon dioxide than flying.
4. Eurostar has won the title of "World's Leading Rail Service" for the last nine years at the World Travel Awards.
5. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are separate companies, under different management and ownership. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel tunnel itself.
6. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com , call 08705 186 186 or contact your travel agent.
For more information:Eurostar Press Office+44 (0)20 7922 4494press.office@eurostar.co.uk
Gareth HeadonEurostar Corporate CommunicationsT. +44 (0) 20 7922 4425F. +44 (0) 20 7922 4499M. +44 (0) 7802 260 096