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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Da Vinci boosts Eurostar tickets
Eurostar train
The Da Vinci Code has inspired passengers to use Eurostar
Train service Eurostar has seen record sales for the first six months of 2006, boosted by fans of the Da Vinci Code film and World Cup supporters.

Sales reached 259.9m ($478m), a rise of 6% from 2005, further helped by a sharp increase in business tickets.

Eurostar's connection to European rail networks helped the firm benefit from football fans visiting the World Cup.

A sponsorship tie-up with the release of the Da Vinci Code film also helped boost ticket sales.

Greater punctuality

Eurostar said the partnership with the movie - whose cast included French actress Audrey Tatou - helped generate "strong interest in overseas markets", with travel agents reporting increased sales on the London-Paris route.

In addition, greater punctuality as well as convenience has helped Eurostar entice business customers, whose numbers rose by 11% over the period.

"Punctuality, which is now at 91%, means Eurostar continues to outperform the airlines operating on London-Paris and London-Brussels routes by a considerable margin," said the firm.

Business class boost for Eurostar
16 Jan 06 |  Business

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