Eurostar sees fall in business passengers

Eurostar has seen less business passengers using the high-speed service in the last three months.

The company announced today that business travel, which was broadly flat in the first quarter of 2012, weakened in the second quarter, citing the number of public holidays and the eurozone crisis as contributing factors.

Other figures showed that sales revenue was up one per cent to £425 million in the first half of 2012 and passenger figures had risen by two per cent to 4.8 million compared to the first half of last year.

The company has, however, seen a boost in leisure bookings to London because of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half of the year despite the difficult economic climate.  Leisure bookings have continued to grow and we have seen good take-up for travel to London over the summer period.

“During the Queen’s jubilee we had one of our busiest weekends on record and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Europe to enjoy all the attractions that London has to offer for the Games.

“Whilst leisure sales have held up over the last six months, there is no doubt that corporate clients and business travellers, particularly in the financial services industry, are feeling the squeeze and are cutting back on their travel budgets as they adapt to the economic environment.”

Mr Petrovic added: “The combination of economic pressures and the London 2012 Games has meant that we are seeing different travel patterns this year.  The traditional European summer close-down for business is kicking in earlier as all eyes turn to the Olympic celebrations in London.”

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