Sale of international train tickets is picking up again
Our sales figures show that sales of international train tickets are picking up again. In mid-April these sales reached a low point, with only 3% tickets sold compared to normal. In the last few weeks, the number of tickets sold has risen sharply again, to 30% compared to normal. It looks like this growth will continue. The number of tickets to Berlin has been remarkably higher than normal in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, most trains to our neighboring countries Germany and Belgium are running again.
As for many other companies, 2020 has been a turbulent year for NS International. In 2019, NS International recorded an impressive growth of 13%. Also in the first months of 2020, a similar growth in passenger numbers was visible for all destinations. More and more travellers are finding their way to sustainable train travel within Europe. Moreover, by the end of April, Eurostar was scheduled to travel directly between Amsterdam and London in four hours, once again bringing a popular destination within train's reach. The start of the direct train Amsterdam-Rotterdam-London has been postponed until this autumn due to the corona outbreak.
Berlin even more popular
Based on the figures of the last few weeks, the top 5 most popular international train destinations remain unchanged: Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Cologne. Remarkably, Berlin is a lot more popular (almost twice) than usual in this period. An explanation for this could be that Berlin has always been a popular summer destination, but that travellers only buy their tickets last-minute. Destinations such as Brussels and Cologne, which are normally popular among business travellers, are slightly lagging behind. This type of travel is less likely to pick up quickly.
In these uncertain times, NS feels it is important for travellers to be able to book their train journey with peace of mind. That is why the conditions of many tickets have been eased, allowing them to be rebooked free of charge until shortly before departure. In the trains, NS pays a lot of attention to hygiene, so areas are being disinfected more often. In the countries surrounding us, too, there are rules about wearing a face mask or covering your nose and mouth. The measures may differ slightly in the details. You can find an overview of the measures per country on the webpage Consequences Coronavirus for international train travel. In this way, we want to make sure that you can travel carefree again.
Overview of trains from the Netherlands:
16 x a day Brussels ? Intercity Brussels back to maximum trips since 8 June.
8 x a day Frankfurt ? ICE back to maximum trips since 1 June.
7 x a day Berlin ? Intercity Berlin back to maximum trips since 2 June.
9 x a day Paris ? Thalys has been operating twice a day since 9 June, and four times a day since 12 July. Further expansion of the number of trains will depend on how the situation regarding corona and passenger demand develops.
4 x a day London ? As of 9 July, Eurostar will run from London directly to Amsterdam once a day. In the opposite direction, it will run with a transfer in Brussels. NS and Eurostar want to further expand the number of trains this summer. Of course, this depends on the further developments regarding corona.
All regional cross-border trains have been running again since the beginning of June.