28 October 2015

Eurostar reports increase in passenger numbers in Q3 2015

  • Passenger numbers up 2% year-on-year in Q3 2015
  • July 2015 saw record breaking numbers with Eurostar carrying over 1 million passengers  -  the highest number of passengers carried in one month since services began
  • Number of business passengers increased by 7% year-on-year
  • New South of France service proves very popular boosting tourism to the region   
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reported an increase of 2% in passengers numbers in Q3 2015 (2.87m Q3 2015: 2.80m Q3 2014) as customers continue to appreciate the comfort and ease of high speed rail travel between the UK and European destinations. 
The month of July was particularly strong with Eurostar carrying over 1 million passengers which is the highest number of passengers travelling in one month since services began in 1994.  The increase in passengers in Q3 reflected, in part, the popularity of the new direct all year round South of France service, as well as a number of high profile events in September including the Rugby World Cup and the staging of Fashion Week in both London and Paris.
The uplift in the number of business travellers reported in the first half of the year continued into Q3 with the number increasing by 7% over the last three months compared with the same period last year. 
In line with the first six months of the year the strength of sterling and the fluctuations in the exchange rate continued to have an impact on sales revenues.  Over the last quarter the average (GBP/EUR) exchange rate increased by 10.6% compared with the same period last year.  At constant exchange rates, sales revenues in Q3 this year were flat compared with Q3 2014 whereas at actual rates sales revenues reduced by 5% (£200m Q3 2015: £211m Q3 2014). 
New South of France service captures the imagination of travellers
The new South of France service, stopping in Lyon, Avignon and Marseille, which launched on May 1st this year gathered momentum over the summer period as passengers were keen to experience this new alternative to the short haul airlines. 
To date, over 115,000 tickets have been sold for the service with customers appreciating the city centre to city centre route and the opportunity to enjoy the changing landscape from the north of France to the Mediterranean.  Whilst the British have long enjoyed a love affair with Provence, 1 in 3 travellers travelling on the South France service were experiencing the cultural dynamism and gastronomy of Lyon and Marseille for the first time.
In addition to being a gateway to the South of France during the summer months, the new Eurostar service is also proving popular among ski enthusiasts as Lyon provides a convenient link to the French Alps with easy road and rail connections to a range of popular ski resorts.
New fleet of trains due to enter service by the end of the year
Eurostar’s new fleet of e320 trains is now in its final stage of testing with the trains on schedule to  start to enter service by the end of the year.  With 20 per cent extra seats, state-of-the art Pininfarina design as well as wifi connectivity and onboard entertainment, passengers can look forward to a transformed travel experience.
In addition to the introduction of its e320 trains later this year, Eurostar has also introduced the first of its newly remodelled and redesigned trains from the current fleet (known as the e300) which came into service in early September.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, 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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  • 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.
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.
For more information about Eurostar please contact:
Eurostar Press Office
t: 020 7843 5500
e: press.office@eurostar.com