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Challenging Q1 for Eurostar as travellers remain cautious following terrorist attacks

20 May 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Eurostar has experienced a challenging first quarter of 2016 following the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Challenging Q1 for Eurostar as travellers remain cautious after terrorist attacks

Eurostar has reported a “Challenging first quarter of 2016”. The operator his attributed the drop in demand to travellers remaining cautious following the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels.

3% reduction in Eurostar passenger numbers during Q1

The impact has been particularly evident in international markets with Eurostar reporting a slowdown in travellers from the US and Asia. As a result, passenger numbers in the first three months of the year were 2.2 million, a 3% reduction on the same period last year (2.3 million: Q1 2015) and sales revenues were 6% lower year on year (£201 million Q1 2016: £215 million Q1 2015).

A brighter outlook thanks to Euro 2016 tournament

However, looking ahead, the overall picture looks much brighter with strong forward bookings for the Euro 2016 tournament as football fever kicks in.   With direct high-speed Eurostar services to the main host cities including Lille, Paris, Lyon and Marseille, nearly half a million passengers from across the UK are scheduled to travel during the tournament.

Testing for the new London-Amsterdam service

Plans for a new London to Amsterdam route pushed forward last month as Eurostar announced it had tested the new e320 train on the Dutch Network for the first time. The journey marked the initial phase of a comprehensive testing programme with commercial services expected to start at the end of next year.

Eurostar believes it will revolutionise travel between the two capitals and provide a convenient alternative to air travel.

“With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this new route is key to our growth plans”

Commenting about the new route Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “The start of testing for the e320 on the Dutch network marks a major milestone in the run-up to the launch our new service.  With over 3 million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this new route is key to our growth plans.  Our fast, comfortable, point-to-point service is set to transform travel between these important financial and tourist hubs.”

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