Eurostar, terrorism, and Brexit
Cross-channel train operator Eurostar is looking to reduce headcount as it struggles with weak demand on its services in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in France and Belgium.
[Eurostar aims to cut 80 jobs as traffic suffers after attacks, Reuters, 18 Oct 2016]
The company could not confirm British media reports saying Eurostar would cut two daily trains to Paris and one to Brussels when it unveils its 2017 timetables in December, the spokeswoman said.
“Nothing has been finalised yet,” she said. “We’re looking at all the different options.”
“But we are offering voluntary redundancies, that’s true. We are looking at cutting 80 jobs this year,” she added.
Eurostar introduced new, bigger trains last year, with more seats, which means the reduced number of services may not have an impact on the total seat capacity between London and the continent, British newspaper the Independent said last week.
In July, the train operator, majority-owned by France’s SNCF, reported a 3 percent drop in passenger numbers in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, while revenue fell 10 percent.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has also taken its toll, Eurostar has said.
On 13 May 2009 the European Commission approved £5.169 billion of “one-time” UK state aid ‘for the high-speed rail link service between London and the Channel as well as the restructuring of Eurostar’. Despite that massive bailout, and the ‘restructuring’ of track access charges, there must be increased doubts about whether Eurostar, in its present form, is what accountants call ‘a going concern’.