Eurostar sees traveller numbers and ticket revenues rise in Q3 2007

24 Oct 2007

--Traveller numbers up 3.6% to a record 2.23 million in Q3 2007--Ticket sales rise to £148.5 million--Launch of through fares set to boost travel from UK regions
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train service that links the UK with the Continent, saw record traveller numbers in the third quarter of 2007 (July-September) as ticket revenues also continued to rise.
Traveller numbers rose during the third quarter, with Eurostar carrying 2.23 million travellers – an increase 3.6% against the same period last year. Ticket revenues totalled £148.5 million – an increase of 13.8% driven both by increasing numbers of business passengers and by higher demand during the Rugby World Cup.
The business travel market remained very strong, with the volume of business sales rising by 12.9%. Corporate travellers continue to choose Eurostar rather than the airlines to reduce their carbon footprint on short-haul journeys between London and Paris / Brussels, and to take advantage of Eurostar's unique Business Premier class with its 10-minute check-in and quiet, work-focused onboard environment.
Eurostar estimates that it carried at least 125,000 passengers to and from Rugby World Cup matches and ran 19 extra services during the tournament carrying 13,000 additional travellers.
The rise in passenger numbers is expected to be boosted by the announcement today of through fares from 68 UK towns and cities to the Continent. Tickets go on sale from 14 November and lowest fares range from £67 - £92. [For further details see separate press release issued today.]
Eurostar maintained its impressive punctuality record with 91.1% of trains arriving on time or early. This punctuality level is also a key factor in persuading business travellers to switch from plane to train on the London-Paris and London-Brussels routes.
Ticket sales in international markets (those outside Eurostar's core markets of the UK, France and Belgium) remained strong – growing by 14.2% against the same period in 2006.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: "These are very strong results. Eurostar's continued growth in traveller numbers - especially in the crucial business sector - shows that growing environmental concern and a desire for a hassle-free travel experience are persuading more people to choose Eurostar rather than the airlines.
"These are the final set of results for a full quarter of Eurostar operations to and from Waterloo International. On 14 November we will launch services from our new London home at St Pancras International.
"Eurostar journeys will be quicker and, with the introduction of through fares to the Continent from 68 towns and cities across Britain, more accessible to millions more people living in the UK regions. We are confident that these changes will mean our traveller numbers continue to rise."
Eurostar will end services from Waterloo International on Tuesday 13 November and will switch overnight to its new London station, St Pancras International, where it will launch services on Wednesday 14 November. Services from St Pancras International will be at least 20 minutes quicker, with non-stop London-Paris journeys falling to 2 hours 15 minutes and London-Brussels down to just 1 hour 51 minutes.
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Notes to Editors1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking London Waterloo (until 13 November), London St Pancras International (from 14 November), Ebbsfleet International (from 19 November – see Note 3), Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar will switch its London terminal from Waterloo International and begin services from St Pancras International on 14 November 2007. Journey times on High Speed 1, the UK's first high-speed line, will be London – Paris 2h 15min; London – Brussels 1h 51min; and London - Lille 1h 20min.
3. A new station at Ebbsfleet International, just off junction 2 of the M25 near the Dartford crossing and Bluewater shopping centre in north Kent, will open on 19 November. Journey times will be 10 minutes shorter than from St Pancras.
4. Under its 'Tread Lightly' initiative, Eurostar has set a target of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per passenger journey by 2012. Independent research has already shown that a Eurostar journey between London and Paris / Brussels generates 10 times less carbon dioxide than flying.
5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
6. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates a vehicle shuttle service and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.
7. 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, T. +44 (0)20 7922 4494, press.office@eurostar.co.uk
Gareth HeadonEurostar Corporate CommunicationsT. +44 (0) 20 7922 4425F. +44 (0) 20 7922 4499M. +44 (0) 7802 260 096