30 May 2019
Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reported on its performance in the first quarter of 2019.
In the first two months of 2019, growth was strong with passenger numbers and sales revenues up on 2018. However, with the prevailing uncertainty in the weeks leading up to the original 29 March Brexit deadline, Eurostar started to see a dampening in demand among UK travellers.
This softening in demand from the UK, combined with slower controls in French stations in the month of March, resulted in overall passenger numbers in the first quarter remaining stable at 2.37 million, a 0.4% increase versus the same period in 2018 (2.37m Q1 2019: 2.36m Q1 2018). Sales revenues for the period were down by 1% compared to 2018 (£250 million Q1 2019: £253 million Q1 2018).
The uplift in US travellers that was reported in 2018 continued in the first three months of the year, with visitors from North America keen to experience the speed and convenience of a high-speed rail journey as part of their European getaway. The number of US customers increased by 2% in Q1 2019 compared with the first quarter of last year.
Third daily service to Amsterdam attracting strong interest from customers
To meet customer demand, Eurostar is introducing a third daily service from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam which is due to start on 11 June. Ticket sales for this additional service are gathering momentum as the new route continues to grow in popularity.
Since launch in April 2018, over 300,000 passengers have travelled on the route which is testament to the many attractions of the destinations and the ease and comfort of the high-speed rail link between these iconic cities. With three daily services between the UK and The Netherlands, Eurostar is expecting to see a boost in bookings for the summer period.
Mike Cooper, CEO, Eurostar, said:
“A year on from the launch of our London-Amsterdam service, we are continuing to see strong demand from customers. Given the popularity of the route, we are looking forward to introducing our third daily service and providing more connections between these important capital cities.”
With a lead-in price from just £29 one way, no additional charges for luggage or seats and a direct link between city centres, Eurostar represents a highly competitive alternative to travelling by plane. For more information visit www.eurostar.com