Published on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Rise in business travel gives Eurostar services a boost

Eurostar has reported record sales revenues for the third quarter of the year when passenger numbers rose 12% year on year to three million.

The train operator said the increase was driven in part by the strength of the business market, with traffic up 21% compared to the same period in 2017.

The rise in the number of passengers from the US, noted earlier this year, continued into the third quarter with a 6% increase, which Eurostar attributed in part to the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Paris.

Leisure traffic was boosted by Eurostar's new service between the UK and the Netherlands, with an additional 130,000 passengers travelling to Amsterdam and Rotterdam by high-speed rail since the service launched in April.

To meet demand, Eurostar will introduce a third direct daily service from London in June 2019, and has plans to run four trains a day when the governments introduce border controls in the Netherlands at the end of next year, with ambitions for five daily services in the future.

Chief executive Mike Cooper said: "After a strong summer period the business has continued to perform very well, buoyed up by our new London to Amsterdam service which has transformed travel between these important capital cities.

"The potential of our Amsterdam route is significant as the Netherlands is becoming increasingly popular as a business and tourist destination."

Eurostar also announced today that commercial director Nick Mercer will step down at the end of the year. "After 15 very enjoyable years, this is the right time for me to be moving on," he said.

"I will be leaving the business in a positive position with record sales, a clear strategy for the future and with a strong and motivated team.~ I want to thank all our partners in the travel industry who have provided such great support for the business and to me personally.~ I know I will miss many of you."

Cooper added: "The Board and I want to thank Nick for the huge contribution he has made to Eurostar over the last 15 years. During that time Nick has been at the heart of our success and pushed our brand to be a leader in our sector. We all wish him well for the new challenges he is seeking."

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