Around 6.5 million people travelled with Franco-Belgian high-speed train company Thalys last year, surpassing records for 2020 and 2021, according to data published by the company on Monday. Despite promising increases, attendance is around 20% lower than the levels observed before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic had a dramatic impact on the number of passengers using Thalys train services, in particular, due to extensive travel restrictions between EU Member States. From a record 7.85 million passengers in 2019, attendance dropped to just 2.5 million in 2020 and 2.7 million in 2021.
In 2022, the company made a significant recovery, in large part due to the company's TGV traffic towards Bordeaux. Company officials are very satisfied with last year’s results.
“Thalys reopened the line to Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland Paris) and to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in March, in order to once again offer its classic destination,” a company spokesperson said.
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Despite promising results, the Thalys brand is set to disappear this year following its merger with high-speed rail company Eurostar, which links London to continental destinations. The new company headquarters will be located in Brussels. French rail company SNCF is set to become the majority shareholder.
In December, Thalys celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Germany-Paris high speed route, which links Paris, via Brussels, to Aachen and Cologne. Since 1997, more than 20 million passengers have used this service to travel to and from Germany.