The company will start ramping up daily trains between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam later this month.
Cross-Channel railway Eurostar says it is no longer at risk of collapse after its shareholders, including its French majority owner SNCF, agreed to back a refinancing deal with banks worth £250 million.
“This refinancing package secures Eurostar’s future as restrictions ease and travel begins to gradually resume,” said Eurostar in an emailed statement today.
In January, the company warned it was running out of cash due to the pandemic’s impact on travel and tourism. Eurostar had called for state support to get it through the crisis but authorities in the U.K. had been cautious about committing to any kind of bailout.
Instead, France’s state railways SNCF and other investors, including funds overseen by Belgium’s state train operator SNCB, have stepped in to pump £50 million in new equity into the company along with £150 million in shareholder guaranteed loans. Banks have agreed to restructure a further £50 million in loans, the company said.
Eurostar said it will start ramping up daily trains between London and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam later this month. From May 27, Eurostar will start running two daily return services between the British and French capitals, with up to three per day from the end of June.
The company does not give a timeline for expanding its single daily return journey between London and Brussels.
Eurostar also said it’s also pushing ahead with its planned merger with Thalys, an international railway running links between Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The merger plan is dubbed Green Speed and was first announced in 2019.
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/eurostar-finances-saved-french-railways/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication