Eurostar ramping up services to meet growing demand

Eurostar has announced it is expanding its timetable due to growing demand for cross-Channel travel.

The rail operator will run eight daily return services from September 6 until November 1.

Five trains will run in each direction between London and Paris.

Three return services will operate on the London-Brussels route, one of which will be extended to Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

Eurostar said it has already added 39 trains to its timetable this month following the Government’s announcement on August 4 that the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals from France would be removed.

A Eurostar passenger
Eurostar will operate eight daily return services from September 6 (Yui Mok/PA)

The firm recorded a 98% increase in bookings for cross-Channel travel between August 4-14, compared with the previous two weeks.

The busiest days for travel are between August 27-30, as travellers make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Paris is the most popular destination.

Eurostar said it is seeing a return of people taking weekend breaks, with a 105% rise in August and September trips between London and Paris compared with the same period last year.

More than four out of five bookings are attributed to leisure or visiting friends and family.

In May, Eurostar secured a £250 million rescue package from shareholders – including French state rail company SNCF – and banks.

This was six months after the company warned it was “fighting for its survival against a 95% drop in demand” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It operated just two return services a day for several months before starting to ramp up its operations in May.

Its daily timetable consisted of 56 trains before the virus crisis.