Eurostar, the operator of the high-speed train between the United Kingdom and mainland Europe, is calling for a rescue operation by the UK authorities. According to the Financial Times business newspaper, the company is threatening to fall because the coronalockdowns are almost unable to drive trains. This would allow Eurostar to run out of money in the course of this year.
Shareholders have already pumped some EUR 200 million into Eurostar to keep the company alive during the crisis, but the rail carrier thinks he needs more money as the situation is very serious. “Without additional public funding, there is a real risk to the survival of Eurostar,” says the company pointing out that airlines and airports also receive additional support.
There are only a few trains a day lately, and new travel restrictions make it even more difficult for Eurostar. As of Monday, all passengers must be able to show a negative corona-virus test upon arrival in the United Kingdom in order to enter the country. The test may have been conducted no more than 72 hours before departure.
The situation is complex because the British state no longer owns Eurostar. The British sold their 40% stake in 2015, with most of the shares held by the French state. But from France, the company probably does not need additional help. The British Government has indicated that it has not forgotten Eurostar. “We will continue to work closely with them to support the safe reboot and recovery of international travel.”