Eurostar seeks parity with aviation
Eurostar is urging Government to extend the support it has given the aviation sector during the COVID crisis to include international rail services.
As the operator reduces its service to one train per day to three destinations (including Paris), having already cancelled services on other routes and removing trains from Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International until 2022, the Government has provided £1.8 billion in support to the aviation sector through loans, tax deferrals and financing.
A Eurostar spokesman told
RAIL: “The new scheme of rates relief for airports puts Eurostar at a direct disadvantage against its airline competitors. Eurostar has been left fighting for its survival against a 95% drop in demand, while aviation has received over £1.8bn in support.
“We would ask this scheme to be extended to include international rail services, and more generally for the Government to incorporate high-speed rail in its support for the travel sector, and in doing so help protect the green gateway to Europe.”
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Eurostar could not be clearer with the Government. They are looking at a cliff edge and now is the time to act. Ministers must not sit on their hands.”
As this issue of RAIL went to press, the DfT had not provided a response.