Eurostar Gets Big Boost From Business Travel
Cross-Channel train service Eurostar has seen a 7% increase in revenue in the first-quarter, boosted by a rise in business travellers.
Sales between January and March topped £227m, as the record income for the period.
Although passenger volume was up 3% to 2.3 million compared to the same period last year, travellers in its premier class were up 6%.
So-called leisure travellers were up 3% despite the fact that numbers last year were being boosted by an earlier Easter and foreign visitors.
But travel figures for the second-quarter may be dampened by this year's pre-Easter getaway, when a large number of trains were cancelled because of two separate incidents.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: "The improvement we have seen in the corporate travel market in recent months underpins the strong performance reported today.
"Coupled with the benign winter weather, which saw far lower levels of weather-related disruption than in previous years, the first quarter has set us on course for continued growth throughout the year."
Lightning strikes in March sparked a series of fires in the South East, leading to travel disruption on the international trains.
Four Eurostar trains were halted on the line after a fire broke out near the UK entrance to the Channel Tunnel.
In January, it was announced that two UK phone providers had signed 10-year deals to supply phone access in the 30-mile undersea tunnels.
The deal, mirroring a French equivalent in operation since June 2012, was seen as a way of further boosting the service for business travellers wishing to remain online throughout their journey.