Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Eurostar boss: 'State of the art' fleet set to grow European rail market

By CNN wire staff
August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1601 GMT (0001 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic expects the new carriers to be online within the next three to four years
  • Possible destinations for Eurostar include West Germany, Holland and Switzerland
  • Petrovic not fazed by impending competition from Deutsche Bahn in Channel Tunnel

(CNN) -- Eurostar plans to launch a "state of the art" fleet of trains that can carry passengers to the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, according to the company's boss.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of the European high-speed train company, expects the new carriers and routes to be online within the next three to four years, as the rail operator looks to rebuild and make a "fresh start."

EXPLORE INTERACTIVE: How confident are you in the euro?

Speaking with CNN's Nina dos Santos, Petrovic said the company would "grab the opportunity of open access in Europe." He added: "What we really want to do is gain market share against the airlines."

The international train operator has built its success by bridging the gap between the UK and Europe, running services from London to Brussels and Paris.

Eurostar to expand across Europe

But after nearly two decades of monopoly over the Channel Tunnel, Eurostar is facing competition for the undersea rail line as German operator Deutsche Bahn prepares to launch a London to Brussels service.

Eurostar profits doubled in 2012

READ MORE: Model trains motor their way back home

Petrovic said he is not worried by the prospect of rivalry for the London to Europe routes. He added: "We'll see who the customers prefer but in my view it will grow the overall market."

Eurostar tickets for an adult traveling from London to Paris cost £69 ($104) for standard class to £250 ($378) for business class. Petrovic told CNN that the company was looking "very carefully" at pricing, adding that the biggest cost to Eurostar's business is the levy on using the Channel tunnel.

READ MORE: How American apple pie is warming struggling Spain

In June, the European Commission told Eurotunnel -- the France-based manager of the Channel Tunnel -- to cut its charges for passenger and freight trains using the route.

The Commission claimed the charges were too high and discouraged passengers from traveling by train while hurting the freight industry.

Petrovic said: "We have to pay per passenger a fee which is something like 30 euros...if you sell a ticket at let's say £79 or £69 return, a big chunk of that money is going to the tunnel so the European Commission said numbers should come down.

"If it were the case we could pass on this reduction to the customers," he added.

CNN's Oliver Joy contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Marketplace Europe
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
Marketplace Europe visits Latvia to see how the Baltic country has made its transition to the Euro from the Lat.
January 16, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1640 GMT (0040 HKT)
Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
January 2, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2123 GMT (0523 HKT)
Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
December 26, 2013 -- Updated 2114 GMT (0514 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1815 GMT (0215 HKT)
Estonia is setting the pace for other European nations with a thriving economy and its tech industry, according to the Baltic nation's leader.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
November 14, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Peer at the windows and you'll spot big colorful chairs, plastic plants and a huge bed, but this is no department store.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1006 GMT (1806 HKT)
There once was a time, many years ago, when the sounds of bagpipes struck fear into the stomachs of Englishmen.
November 11, 2013 -- Updated 1116 GMT (1916 HKT)
Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
November 8, 2013 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Could Greece's famous spice help the country's farmers through a four-year long economic crisis.
November 1, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
October 31, 2013 -- Updated 1741 GMT (0141 HKT)
Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
October 25, 2013 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.
October 24, 2013 -- Updated 1617 GMT (0017 HKT)
The high commissioner of Brand Spain talks about getting the country back on its fee and attracting business.
ADVERTISEMENT