Eurostar has revealed 2.8 million customers travelled on services between the UK and the continent in Q2 2015, the highest number recorded in one quarter.
Second quarter passenger results for Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, have revealed a 3 percent year-on-year increase compared with the same period last year. Sales revenues for the second quarter rose by 1.5 percent compared with the previous year. In stark contrast, the previous quarter was impacted by the terrorist attacks in Paris and the closure of Eurotunnel following a lorry fire. As a result revenues for the first half of 2015 were down 2 percent year-on-year.
The report also reveals business travel 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 percent compared with the second quarter of last year with an increase reported on both sides of the channel.
The surge in passenger numbers coincided with the introduction of Eurostarâ€™s new all year round direct service to the South of France launched on 1 May 2015. Currently, 88,000 tickets have been sold for the route running from London and Lyon, Avignon and Marseille.
In addition to growing passenger numbers, Eurostar has announced final testing has begun on its new fleet of e320 trains. The 17 new trains, due to launch at the end of 2015, will be able to reach speeds of up to 320kph, provide greater capacity, boast a new livery and interiors as well as wifi connectivity and advanced passenger information services. Furthermore, the first e300 newly remodelled and redesigned train from the current fleet will enter commercial service in the coming weeks.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: â€œOver 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.â€