Ticket bookings recover to pre-pandemic levels, says Trainline

The business sold more tickets at the end of May than it had in the same period two years ago.

August Graham
Thursday 17 June 2021 12:26
Railway stock
Railway stock

Train ticket bookings reached pre-pandemic levels at the end of last month as the UK continued to come out of lockdown, Trainline revealed on Thursday.

The rail ticketing and timetable information business said that it had made net ticket sales of £237 million to UK consumers between March and May, an increase of 269% compared with the year before.

During the same months a year ago, ticket sales had plummeted at an unprecedented rate because of the lockdown restrictions across the country.

They reached £64 million over those three months.

It’s very encouraging to see people returning to train travel as lockdowns and restrictions gradually ease

Jody Ford

But Trainline’s recovery from Covid-19 was not evident across the quarter. Ticket sales during the three months were still half of what they used to be in the year before the pandemic struck.

However, towards the end of the most recent period the situation improved further, said chief executive Jody Ford

“It’s very encouraging to see people returning to train travel as lockdowns and restrictions gradually ease. By the end of May we were selling more tickets than we were in the same period two years ago,” he said.

“Having maintained our investment in product and tech throughout the pandemic, we are uniquely placed to support the industry recovery while leading the market shift to online and digital channels.”

In total across the group, including its foreign business, ticket sales were down from £906 million in the first quarter of the 2020 financial year to £334 million in the most recent quarter.

“I remain confident in Trainline’s long-term growth prospects in the UK and across our international markets,” Mr Ford said.

“Our highly rated mobile app delivers a simple, consistent and friction-free booking experience to a huge installed base, with over 37 million cumulative app downloads.”

Shares in the group had risen by more than 3% at around midday on Thursday following the news.