All Policies Include Coronavirus Cover

Eurostar cuts back on services due to post-Brexit fears

18 October 2016 08:05

Demand for Eurostar seats is expected to drop as the UK leaves the EU

Demand for Eurostar seats is expected to drop as the UK leaves the EU

Eurostar has said it will cut 12 services from London St Pancras to Paris and Brussels.

A total of 80 staff are expected to lose their jobs.

The train operator blamed the cutbacks on a "challenging environment" post-Brexit.

Services will be cut by the end of the year

Changes will take effect in December and as many as three trains a day could be axed.

However, because the firm is rolling out new, larger trains, the overall number of seats is unlikely to be affected.

The firm also still intends to introduce direct services from London to Amsterdam at the end of 2017.

Demand for seats set to fall

In July, Eurostar reported a slight fall in passenger numbers but a more significant reduction of 10 per cent in revenue over the previous three months.

Annual underlying operating profits for 2015 were £34m, down from £55m in 2014.

The company said the strength of sterling reduced actual rates of sales revenue to £821m, down from £867m the previous year.

The firm's chief executive, Nicolas Petrovic, said: "The uncertainty following the vote to leave, combined with the Brussels terrorist attack, has continued to dampen demand."

There was also a drop in passenger numbers following the Paris terror attacks in November.

Eurostar carries 80 per cent of the total passenger traffic between London and both Brussels and Paris.

Demand for the service is expected to drop sharply after the UK post-Brexit, as a significant number of passengers are travelling because of EU business.

A spokesperson for Eurostar said: "This is a challenging environment for all travel companies and we need to manage our costs very carefully. That's why we are looking at the size and shape of our business."

The firm says voluntary redundancy will be offered to employees first.

"We are committed to minimising the impact of these changes on our colleagues and our current focus is on managing any reductions through voluntary redundancies and sabbaticals as much as possible."

Whether holidaymakers are travelling abroad by Eurostar or by another mode of transport the should always take out travel insurance to protect themselves.