He predicted that there would be a full 'turn up and go' operation by September. Reports that a passenger service would not start until the late summer were wrong.
The tunnel would open from April but would start in first gear for passenger services, then progress to second, third and fourth gears.
Eurotunnel said in February that there would be an 'unspecified delay' after the official opening on 6 May before regular passenger services began. The failure to operate full services during the peak summer period will lose Eurotunnel up to pounds 100m.
A delay to September will mean that full passenger services will start 15 months later than was estimated when work on the tunnel began.
Questioned about the introduction of passenger services, Sir Alastair said yesterday: 'We are not going to open it until we are able to run a regular, trouble-free service.'Reuse content