Eurostar passenger numbers remain constant with introduction of e320 trains
15 March 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Eurostar has revealed passenger numbers remained stable for the high-speed UK to mainland Europe rail service during 2015, coinciding with the introduction of the new e320 trains.
Eurostar annual results for 2015 reveal stable passenger numbers at 10.4 million, equalling 2014 figures.
Eurostar passenger figures remain stable at 10.4 million
According to Eurostar, ‘the business saw a sharp drop in passenger numbers in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks in November, trading has started to pick up over the first two months of the year and forward bookings for the summer are looking positive’.
Eurostar also highlights how the strength of sterling impacted sales revenues. ‘At constant exchange rates, sales revenues for 2015 were flat year-on-year whereas at actual rates sales revenues reduced by 5 percent (£821m 2015: £867m 2014). Underlying operating profit for the year was £34.0m (2014: £55.0m) with the year-on-year reduction due to adverse currency movements and costs relating to disruptions in 2015’.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “After a challenging end to 2015, trading is picking up and the outlook for the summer is positive. With our new state-of-the-art trains and highly competitive fares to a range of destinations, we expect this trend to gather momentum over the coming months.”
“After a challenging end to 2015, trading is picking up and the outlook for the summer is positive”
2015 also saw the introduction of eight e320 trains on the London-Paris route in November. Passengers can make use of the new on-board entertainment service developed by GoMedia and wifi connectivity.
By connecting their mobile phone or tablet to the free on-board wifi, customers can unlock more than 300 hours of popular TV shows and movies as well as a children’s zone and live moving location map. The technology will bring long-haul travel entertainment to short-haul journeys.
e320 trains: on-board entertainment service and free wifi
Nicolas Petrovic continued: “The successful introduction of our new fleet marks an important milestone for the business as it transforms the travel experience for our customers. Our e320 trains bring the ultimate in style and comfort alongside the latest in on-board digital connectivity for both business and leisure travellers.”
Capacity on the new e320 trains has increased by 20 percent from 750 to 900 passengers. The interior has been design by Pininfarina and includes ergonomically designed reclining seats in all classes of service and digital screens featuring up-to-date journey information in each carriage.