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Tuesday, July 6, 1999 Published at 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK


Business: The Company File

Eurostar trains beat planes

Eurostar: Trains are best between London and Paris

Eurostar claims its trains beat planes as the most punctual way to travel between London and Paris.

It says that 89% of Eurostars arrived at their destinations on time or within 15 minutes of schedule in the first quarter of 1999.

For the second quarter, the figure rose to 92%.


[ image: Passenger numbers at Waterloo have increased]
Passenger numbers at Waterloo have increased
This compared with a figure of 68% for airlines on competing routes, according to statistics from Eurostar and the Civil Aviation Authority.

Eurostar also announced that passenger numbers on its services, which run out of London's Waterloo station, rose 1% to 3.5 million in the first six months of this year.

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Total Eurostar revenues for the same period amounted to £198.3m - 6% higher than the first six months of 1998.

"This very encouraging result was achieved through a combination of powerful promotional offers and significantly better punctuality than the airlines," said Hamish Taylor, Eurostar's chief executive officer designate.

He added that 97% of Eurostar customers said they would recommend the service to a friend or work colleague.


[ image: Traffic is up despite the World Cup effect]
Traffic is up despite the World Cup effect
David Azema, Eurostar chairman, said the results were particularly pleasing viewed in the context of last year, when events such as the World Cup in France had boosted revenues.

Mr Taylor said the group would continue to offer promotions for days trips and longer breaks in Paris, Brussels and London and beyond.

Eurostar is operated by the Inter-Capital and Regional Rail (ICRR) consortium, whose partners include Britain's National Express, British Airways and the state-owned French and Belgian Railways.



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