The health crisis has put the cross-Channel railway company Eurostar in a “very critical” situation, the CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, Christophe Fanichet, alerted on Friday.
“I am very concerned about Eurostar,” Fanichet explained during a meeting with journalists. The company, which runs high-speed trains between London and the mainland, lost 85% of its passengers in 2020, and is “on a drip”, he said.
“Today, Eurostar traffic is at its lowest. (…) We only have one round trip” per day, with around forty when arriving in England, and, on the French side, a compulsory test which will, from Monday, be followed by a seven-day confinement followed by a new test, lamented the official.
“The peculiarity is that Eurostar has two other flaws: it is a French company in England, so it is not helped by the English, and it is not helped by the French because it is in England “(being historically based in London), noted Mr. Fanichet. “It is a company which, in view of the traffic, is more affected than the air” which, him, is helped, he added.
Among the aid that Eurostar will be able to obtain beyond its shareholders, management is negotiating “UK state loans”, he said, adding that recapitalization is possible “if the situation continues “. Eurostar is 55% owned by the French company SNCF, 40% by the Patina Rail consortium – 30% made up of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and 10% by the British fund Hermes Infrastructure – and 5% by SNCB .