Eurostar hit by recession

LONDON - Eurostar passenger numbers fell by 11.5% or a quarter of a million travellers in the first three months of 2009 compared to the same period a year ago as both consumers and businesses cut back on travel.


Consumer travel has been hit by the declining value of the pound against the Euro, making the great escape an increasingly costly business.

Business sales dropped 20% compared with January to March last year as capacity restrictions and the recession took its toll. Business travellers were also hit by penny pinching and many downgraded from premium business services.

However, Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: 'The downturn may be depressing business travel but it is having the opposite effect on the leisure market, with more people wanting to get away from it all to relax, recharge the batteries and spend time with loved ones.'

While Eurostar has maintained low fair options of £59 return available on limited journeys it has only just addressed the shabby interiors of many of its coaches.

Earlier this month it was announced that it has awarded the design contract for the interior refurbishment of its fleet to the Italian design consultancy Pininfarina.



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