Eurostar reports 3% rise in passenger numbers

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The Independent Travel

Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar today showed it had recovered from its troubles at the tail end of 2009 by announcing improved passenger numbers for 2010.

The company had to axe all services for three days in December 2009 after a number of snow-affected trains got stuck in the tunnel for hours.

Today, Eurostar said it had carried 9.5 million passengers in 2010 - a 3% rise on the 2009 figure.

Sales revenue for 2010 rose 12% to £760 million.

Eurostar attributed the passenger growth to the increasing number of people opting for high-speed rail for short-haul European travel and choosing to travel beyond Paris and Brussels to destinations in Holland, Germany and the south of France.

The company said the sales growth was due not only to the increase in passenger numbers but also the recovery of the business market.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: "We have reported a strong performance in 2010 with growth in both sales revenues and passenger numbers.

"The turnaround in the business market continued in the second half of the year. We are also starting to see a real shift in behaviour as customers are increasingly keen to explore new destinations by high-speed rail."