PARIS Oct 18 Train operator Eurostar wants to
cut 80 jobs this year as it struggles with weak traffic on the
service that links Britain with continental Europe after a
string of deadly attacks in Paris and Brussels, a spokeswoman
said on Tuesday.
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
"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.
"In the run up to the EU referendum we experienced a
slowdown in business travel and the uncertainty following the
vote to leave, combined with the Brussels terrorist attack, has
continued to dampen demand," Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic
said in July.
Foreign tourists have avoided France since militant Islamist
gunmen killed 130 people in an attack in Paris last November. In
July, an assailant drove a truck into crowds celebrating the
Bastille Day national holiday on July 14 in the city of Nice,
Foreign tourist arrivals to France could fall 4-5 percent
this year, which would be the steepest decline in 40 years,
according to Alliance 46.2, a group representing firms that rely
on foreign visitors.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Alison Williams)