Eurostar mulls expansion to 10 new European cities
European railway operator Eurostar says it could expand its service to other destinations in Europe over the next five years including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Lyon, Marseille and Geneva. Eurostar currently links London to Paris and Brussels through the Channel tunnel.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic said the company planned to use increasing liberalisation of the sector to launch new services in competition with airlines.
"By 2016 and 2017 we would like people when they are thinking about travelling to these cities to consider taking Eurostar rather than flying," he said.
Eurostar currently has an 80 per cent market share between the three major cities and carries 9.7 million passengers a year.
But the company will soon face increased competition from German rail company Deutsche Bahn which will begin running trains through the tunnel in 2013 after reviews opened the route to other operators.
According to the FT, the company is also looking to set up a second hub in Europe with Brussels the most likely city.
French national railway group SNCF owns 55 per cent of Eurostar, while London Continental Railways has 40 per cent. Belgian national railway operator SNCB also holds five per cent.
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