Passengers using Eurostar fell by 10% over the peak summer months in a “challenging” period following the terrorist attacks in Nice.
However, the high speed Channel Tunnel passenger rail service today reported signs of recovery with the drop in the value of sterling boosting travel to the UK.
The company is also on track to start a new service between London and Amsterdam by the end of 2017.
The 10% drop in third quarter passenger carryings saw numbers fall to 2.6 million from 2.9 million in the same period last year.
Sales revenues dropped by 8% year-on-year to £184 million from £200 million. Eurostar today reported passenger numbers increasing year-on-year over the last eight weeks.
“This uplift follows a challenging period in which demand was dampened by the terrorist attack in Nice at the end of July,” the company said.
“With the recent fall in sterling, the business also saw an increase in the number of passengers coming from France to the UK during the October half term holidays, with traffic up 18% year-on-year during that period.”
Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “After a softening in demand over the summer, we saw an increase in travel from the continent to London during the half term holiday.
“With the weakening of the pound, the UK is proving to be an attractive destination.
“The outlook to the end of the year is encouraging with many travellers taking day trips to London to do their Christmas shopping.”
He added: “Over the coming months, we are making a major investment in our fleet, our service and our stations to equip our business for expansion.
“The launch of our Amsterdam route at the end of next year marks a key milestone and represents a significant growth opportunity for the future.”
The first phase of testing of a new Eurostar e320 train on the Dutch network was completed earlier this year and the next set of tests are due to take place early in 2017.
Eurostar plans a journey time of under four hours between London and Amsterdam – one of the largest international airline markets in Europe attracting more than three passengers year.
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