Eurostar reveals Olympic Games downturn

Eurostar reveals Olympic Games downturn

Eurostar suffered a drop in revenue during the summer as travellers from the Continent avoided London during the Olympic Games.

Sales revenues for the third quarter of the year fell by 5% to £188 million from £197 million in the same period in 2011.

Passenger numbers were broadly flat year on year at 2.6 million, although travel patterns were “significantly influenced” by the Games.

Numbers were up 4% during the Games compared with 2011 but the number of leisure travellers visiting from the Continent to London in July was lower than last year.

“The business market was similarly impacted as companies advised their employees to steer clear of the capital in the run-up to the Olympics,” Eurostar said.

“Since the end of the Games, Eurostar has seen growth in passenger numbers and sales revenues, signalling a positive outlook for quarter four.”

Passenger numbers were up from 7.3 million to 7.4 million for the year to date with sales revenues down 1% to £612 million from £619 million in 2011.

The Channel Tunnel passenger train operator also revealed that it was on schedule to complete a revamp of its entire fleet of trains by 2015. This includes refurbishment of existing rolling stock and the purchase of 10 new ‘e320’ trains designed by Italian design house Pininfarina.

Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: ”Whilst many corporate clients and business customers decided to steer clear of London during the Games, we nonetheless delivered a solid performance.

“Looking ahead to the end of the year, the outlook is strong. Bookings have bounced back and we are now seeing a return to more typical travel patterns.”

He added: “The redesign and upgrading of our fleet marks the next phase of our business.

“With customers increasingly opting for rail over plane for short-haul journeys across Europe, we want to provide an unrivalled travel experience between the UK and the Continent and to encourage more passengers to choose high speed rail as their preferred option.”


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