Sales revenues increased by 12% year-on-year, up from £880m in 2017 to £989m in 2018, and Eurostar reported a preliminary unaudited operating profit of £96.6m for 2018.

The business travel market grew by 12% in 2018 off the back of the popularity of Eurostar’s Business Premier service, which offers passengers flexibility, 10-minute check-in and a range of on-board menu options.

The number of travellers from the United States increased 9% year-on-year. More than 190 million passengers have used the service in the 26 years since it launched in 1994.

Amsterdam service

Leisure traffic was boosted by the success of Eurostar’s new London - Amsterdam service, with 250,000 passengers making the trip between the two capitals since it launched in April 2018

Eurostar has begun selling tickets for a third daily service starting in June this year to meet demand, and has committed to additional services following the introduction of border controls for the Amsterdam - London leg of the journey.

“The popularity of our new service between London and Amsterdam shows the growing appetite among customers for international high-speed rail travel and a sustainable alternative to the airlines,” says Eurostar chief executive, Mr Mike Cooper.