Q&A with Eurostar’s Matthieu Quyollet: An exciting new chapter
Posted: 23 February 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
Matthieu Quyollet, Chief Business Development and Integration Officer for Eurostar, talks to Global Railway Review about the next chapter for the Eurostar Group brand, and what this means for sustainable travel in Europe.
Can you give an overview of the new Eurostar Group?
Crossing five countries and connecting up to 245 million people, Eurostar Group has an exciting opportunity to drive the modal shift from plane and road to rail.
Eurostar and Thalys were legally brought together as Eurostar Group in May 2022, representing the start of an exciting new chapter. Crossing five countries and connecting up to 245 million people, Eurostar Group has an exciting opportunity to drive the modal shift from plane and road to rail.
In January 2023 we revealed our new brand which will appear on all customer touchpoints later in 2023, under the name Eurostar. At its heart is an iconic star inspired by l’Etoile du Nord, the original train service linking Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, and as a tribute to the original Eurostar logo.
In October 2023, we will introduce a single loyalty programme covering all destinations across the current Eurostar and Thalys networks and a single website and booking system designed to improve ease of booking direct and connecting journeys between the UK and Europe.
What are the aims of the Eurostar Group?
By bringing Eurostar and Thalys together, we want to create a new backbone of sustainable travel across European borders. The cities we operate in will become open hubs, connecting to national railways and airlines for long-haul journeys. In other words, making it easier to travel further by high-speed sustainable rail. Our aim is to carry 30 million passengers a year by 2030, which is double what we carried in 2022 and in doing so offer unrivalled customer service. No matter which Eurostar city our customers start their journey in, they will enjoy the unique on-board experience and high-quality experience they have come to know and love.
In what ways will the Eurostar Group brand promote sustainable travel?
We know that a large majority of people prefer to travel by train rather than plane, and that we are already the greener way to go when it comes to short haul international travel. Travelling between Paris and Brussels by rail emits 20 times less CO2 than the car and four times less than bus. Travelling between London and Amsterdam by rail emits seven times less CO2 than by air.
We have an ambition to help our passengers connect smoothly to every rail system in Europe.
As Eurostar Group, we will be able to provide even more possibilities for consumers to choose high-speed rail – our network provides a solution for low carbon travel, connecting people across borders, for leisure and business travel. In the immediate term, new cities will be discoverable through connecting journeys. As one business, we can optimise timetables and offer connection guarantees to make this experience as seamless as possible for our customers. We have an ambition to help our passengers connect smoothly to every rail system in Europe.
How will having a unified, singular brand help to carry 30 million passengers by 2030?
Eurostar and Thalys are two iconic brands that were created with the same purpose: to connect Europeans across borders. We want to continue this story and promote the exciting development of rail travel in Europe under a strong and single brand.
A single brand will give us good visibility and enable us to have more impact in our communications with a clear and consistent message. The Eurostar name was selected as research shows that it benefits from an even greater awareness on a European and international level, including growing markets such as the U.S. and Asia.
How will this new brand spark a new golden age for high-speed rail connectivity in Europe?
The bringing together of two successful rail operators like this is unprecedented – our playground now consists of five countries with more than 200 million short haul travellers from the cities we operate in. Our combined network and connection opportunities means that our customers will truly have Europe at their fingertips. In a climate where even airline CEOs are recommending rail journeys for short haul travel, we have a unique opportunity to improve and grow rail connections and convert travellers from plane to train on a scale that we have never seen before.