21/07/2015 Eurostar reports record passenger numbers in Q2 2015

21 Jul 2015
  • Q2 2015 breaks the record for the largest number of passengers ever carried on Eurostar in one quarter
  • Business Premier passenger numbers for the second quarter rose by 10%
  • Over 88,000 tickets sold to date for the new all year round South of France service
  • Business looks forward to the introduction of its new fleet of trains

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reported the highest ever number of passengers  transported on Eurostar in one quarter with over 2.8m customers travelling between the UK and the continent in Q2 2015.  This represents a year-on-year increase of 3% in passengers compared with the same period last year (2.8m 2015: 2.7m 2014). 

Business travel also went from strength to strength with the uplift in the number of Business Premier passengers reported in the first three months of the year continuing 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)

New South of France service attracting strong sales

The second quarter of the year was marked by the introduction of Eurostar’s new all year round direct service to the South of France launched on 1 May 2015.  The route, which runs between London and Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, has captured the imagination of travellers 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 travellers 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.

New fleet of trains due to enter service later this year

Given the record number of passengers carried in Q2 this year, Eurostar is pleased to report that its new fleet of trains is now in the final stage of testing.  The new e320 trains, which have  increased seat capacity, are on schedule to be launched at the end of the year.  The first newly remodelled 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.

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Definitions:

  • Sales revenue is the value of ticket bookings made during the period. This revenue is only recognised in the income statement at the date on which the passenger actually travels.
  • Passenger volumes reflect the number of travellers carried by Eurostar in the period.
  • Sales revenues in the first half continued to be impacted by movements in exchange rates.  In H1 2015 the average (GBP/EUR) exchange rate increased by 13% compared with the same period last year, with sterling rising to €1.41. At constant exchange rates, sales revenues in H1 this year were up  by 4%. 

Notes to editors:

  • Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille and the French Alps.
  • The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the business has carried more than 150 million passengers between London and mainland Europe.
  • Eurostar is carrying out a complete overhaul of its fleet which includes the purchase of 17 new e320 trains and the redesign of its existing trains.  The newly remodelled trains from the current fleet will be known as the e300 as they have the capacity to travel up to 300kph whereas the e320s can reach up to 320kph.
  • The new Eurostar fleet will start to be introduced later this year.

For more information about Eurostar please contact:
Eurostar Press Office
t: 020 7843 5500
e: press.office@eurostar.com