Image courtesy of Eurostar.com
The high-speed passenger train service between the UK and France and Belgium, Eurostar, asserted a growth of 2% in passenger numbers in Q3 2015. This comes as more passengers take advantage of the convenience of Eurostar.
July was exceptionally robust, with Eurostar conveying over one million passengers, the largest number of customers travelling since Eurostar was launched in 1994. The upsurge in customers in Q3 resulted from events in September, such as the Rugby World Cup and the London and Paris Fashion Weeks. It also reflects the success of the new direct South of France service.
The increase in the number of business passengers continued into Q3, increasing by 7% from JulySeptember as against the same months last year.
The dominance of the sterling, as well as fluctuations in exchange rates have had an effect on sales revenues. In the most recent quarter, the average sterling/euro exchange rate increased by 10.6% more than the same period in 2014. Sales revenues in Q3 this year were unmoving, compared with the same period in 2014, where sales revenues reduced by 5% because of currency fluctuations.
The introduction of a direct service to the South of France, which stops in Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, was launched on 1st May, 2015, and gained popularity over the summer.
More than 115,000 tickets have been bought for this service so far, with two-thirds of passengers travelling to Provence, and one-third travelling to Lyon and Marsielle.
The service runs year-round, so as well as catering to travelling to the South of France for the summer, it is also well-placed to take skiers to Lyon for access to rail and road connections to get to the French Alps.
The new fleet of e320 Eurostar trains will finish the final stage of testing by the end of this year, and will enter service immediately. They boast 20% more seats, a cutting edge Pininfarina design, wifi and onboard entertainment.
As well as the new trains, Eurostar has also brought out the first of its newly renovated and redesigned trains from the current fleet of e300, which started running in September 2015.
Chief Executive of Eurostar, Nicolas Petrovic, said:
After a busy summer and a record breaking month of July with over a million passengers, we are gearing for the arrival of our new state of the art fleet of trains. As we approach our 21st birthday, our business is really coming of age. With new trains, more seats, transformed interiors and a range of onboard entertainment, our passengers can look forward to an exciting future.
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