European high-speed rail operators Eurostar and Thalys will go ahead with a planned merger in 2021, the CEO of Thalys has confirmed to French newspaper La Tribune.
The merger was proposed by French state railway operator SNCF last year as a way to provide passengers with a more connected and environmentally friendly journey across the two companies' networks, which are spread between the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. At the time, the project was named Green Speed.
Thalys boss Bertrand Gosselin has now confirmed in an interview with La Tribune that the project will go ahead next year despite the difficulties faced by both operators in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Eurostar is suffering from the UK's travel quarantine policies, which are currently in effect for all of its destinations from London St Pancras, and it recently announced it will not serve Ashford or Ebbsfleet in the UK or destinations in the south of France until 2022 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, Thalys has been faced with restrictions in Paris. However, Gosselin said an exemption for business travel has encouraged the company to consider special fares for B2B customers to stimulate demand, with details to be announced in due course.
Source: Business Travel News