Eurostar puts squeeze on airlines

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The Independent Online
The high-speed Channel Tunnel Eurostar train service is having a big impact on UK-France air services, official figures showed yesterday. The success of Eurostar's London to Paris service meant airline passenger numbers between the two capitals fell 12 per cent in 1996, the Civil Aviation Authority said.

In comparison with 1994 - before Eurostar operations - the number of air passengers between London and Paris has fallen by 1 million, said the CAA.

But Eurostar's London-Brussels service has not hit airlines so hard, with only 50,000 fewer people travelling between the two cities in 1996 compared with 1994, the CAA statistics showed.

The association's figures also revealed the UK's airports handled 136 million passengers last year - a 5 per cent rise on 1995.