Rail operator Eurostar has secured a crucial £250 million refinancing package to help secure its future.
Eurostar, which has been “fighting for survival” due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, said the new financial package had been agreed with shareholders, including its majority owner French state railway SNCF, and a group of banks.
Jacques Damas, Eurostar’s chief executive, said: “The refinancing agreement is the key factor enabling us to increase our services as the situation with the pandemic starts to improve.
“Eurostar will continue to work closely with governments to move towards a safe easing of travel restrictions and streamlining of border processes to allow passengers to travel safely and seamlessly.
“Their co-ordinated actions and decisions are crucial to the restoring of demand and the financial recovery of our business.”
Eurostar said its focus in the coming months will be on “restoring demand” for its routes from London to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam, as well as “maintaining rigorous cost control to ensure the repayment of loans”.
The company plans to increase the number of trains on its London-Paris route to two daily return services from 17 May and then up to three per day from the end of June.
The refinancing will also allow Eurostar to complete its merger with French-Belgian train operator Thalys.