Eurostar, the operator of Channel Tunnel passenger train services, plans to expand its network out of London by adding 10 destinations in four European countries over the next five years, posing a competitive challenge for airlines.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic told the Financial Times newspaper that he aimed to use the creeping liberalisation of European rail markets to launch services across western European cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Lyon, Marseille and Geneva.
“By 2016 and 2017 we would like people when they are thinking about travelling to these cities to consider taking Eurostar rather than flying,” Petrovic was quoted as saying in the FT’s Monday edition.
In the longer term, Eurostar is looking to set up a second hub, with Brussels the most likely candidate, the FT wrote.
Eurostar is the high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe. Eurotunnel owns the Channel Tunnel.