Business travel growth outperformed leisure for Eurostar in its first quarter results unveiled today.
Passenger numbers for the train operator’s Business Premier class has increased 6% year-on-year for the quarter, a trend that first started in the second half of 2013 and has been driven by UK passengers.
In comparison the leisure market saw 3% growth in passengers despite Easter falling outside of the quarter. Its spring booking horizon is ‘encouraging’.
Overall Eurostar’s passenger numbers have gone up 2% to 2.3 million during which sales revenue increased 7% to GBP227m.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar said: “The improvement we have seen in the corporate travel market in recent months underpins the strong performance reported today. Coupled with the benign winter weather which saw far lower levels of weather-related disruption than in previous years, the first quarter has set us on course for continued growth throughout the year. “
He said 2014 will be a ‘watershed moment’ in Eurostar’s history as it gears up for its 20th anniversary. So far this year a new ticket office has opened at St Pancras International and upgrades are underway at Lille Europe to increase terminal capacity. Its lounges will also be upgraded starting with the Brussels Midi lounge this summer.