Thalys merges into Eurostar and its brand disappears

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A unique brand that announces a new impetus for high-speed rail transport in Europe

Eurostar Group, which brings together Thalys and Eurostar, today revealed the new brand which will allow the company to develop as a single entity. The ambition is to transport 30 million passengers per year by 2030 and thus become the benchmark for sustainable travel in Europe.

By the end of 2023, the design of the new brand under the Eurostar name will be available on all customer touchpoints, including on the 51 trains. The name ‘Eurostar’ was chosen because of the strong brand awareness among consumers, both at the European level and globally which remains a growing market for high-speed rail services.

Eurostar group has chosen, as its symbol and new logo, an emblematic star, inspired by the Etoile du Nord, the original train service linking Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and which pays homage to the first Eurostar logo.

Etoile du Nord © Jean-Pierre Vergez-Larrouy – http://ferropedia.es/wiki/Archivo:SNCFCC40105JPVL.JPG, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19063126

An animated spark graphic acts as a compass and symbolises the brand’s purpose: to create new opportunities, connecting people, places, companies and cultures across borders.

Eurostar’s new logo

Under a single brand, Eurostar Group intends to breathe new life into high-speed rail transport in Europe. And this, while continuing to offer an attractive alternative to road and air transport and accelerating modal shift, at a time when passengers want ever greener travel options. The carbon footprint of a passenger on a flight between London and Amsterdam, for example, is equivalent to seven Eurostar trips*. As the largest high-speed rail network in Europe – crossing five countries and connecting 245 million people – there is therefore immense potential to encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transport.

With this unique brand, Eurostar Group passengers will have Europe within reach of the train. From October 2023, they will benefit from a single loyalty programme, covering all destinations on the current Eurostar and Thalys networks, as well as a single website and reservation system. For continental travellers, this will make it easier to book direct and connecting journeys to London. For UK passengers, this will provide easy and seamless connections between London and German destinations, including Cologne.

This alliance being legally established on May 1, 2022, this January 24 marks a new important step in the rapprochement of the two companies.

The CEO of Eurostar Group, Gwendoline Cazenave, is delighted to participate in the sustainable development of the company: “We are proud to unveil today our new brand, which will increase our visibility, contribute to making us the cornerstone of the high-speed rail transport in Europe and drive our ambition to double passenger numbers over the next decade. Our customers will be able to enjoy the same quality of service they know and love on our unified network. business and leisure centres in five European countries. As Eurostar Group, we are joining forces to write the next chapter in the history of rail transport and truly promote the modal shift from road and air to the rail.”

Christophe Fanichet, Chairman and CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, says: “We are proud to be involved with Eurostar Group in the first international high-speed rail company. This new Eurostar brand, with its unified network, is at the heart of our ambition to enable the development of the train and to double its modal share by 2030. We have all the assets to succeed in this magnificent challenge!

Alain Krakovitch, Director of TGV-Intercités and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Eurostar Group, adds: “We have set ourselves a bold ambition: to increase the number of passengers from 19 million in 2019 to 30 million in 2030. And to accelerate the transition from air and road transport to high-speed rail on the combined Eurostar and Thalys network.We knew that the challenge of climate change and the growing demand for eco-responsible and sustainable travel in Europe represented a great opportunity for both companies in terms of long-term development.

Sophie Dutordoir, CEO of SNCB/NMBS Belgian Railways, explains: “The launch of the new brand not only demonstrates a firm determination to enter a new era of high-speed rail, beneficial both for existing customers but also for new ones, and also reinforces the central role of Brussels, home of the Eurostar Group, as a hub for rail connectivity and sustainable travel in Europe. This exciting new phase of rail travel is timely, as it is an indispensable part of achieving of Europe’s sustainability goals.”

Emmanuel Jaclot, Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure at CDPQ (Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec), adds: “The unified brand and the commitment to transport 30 million passengers per year by 2030 mark a new inspiring chapter for Eurostar Group, and more broadly, for sustainable mobility in Europe. At a time when every action counts, CDPQ is proud to accelerate the decarbonization of transport in Europe with the companies in its portfolio, like Eurostar, which we support since 2015.”

The new brand identity was imagined by DesignStudio based on the heritage of Eurostar and Thalys. This identity has been adapted to the digital age and designed to help the company in its development. It will be deployed from October 2023 in a palette of ten colours, bringing warmer shades, representative of the Thalys brand.

* https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/about-eurostar/community-environment/treadlightly

Key information about Eurostar Group

Number of passengers in 2022: 14.8 million (8.3 Eurostar, 6.5 Thalys)

Fleet: 51 trains (25 Eurostar, 26 Thalys)

Fastest travel times:

London – Brussels: 02:00
London – Paris: 02h15
London – Lille: 01:30
London-Rotterdam is 03:13
London – Amsterdam: 03:52
Paris-Brussels: 01h22
Paris-Amsterdam: 03h19
Paris-Cologne: 03h20
Brussels-Amsterdam: 01h51
Brussels – Cologne: 01h47

About Eurostar Group

Initiated in September 2019, the alliance project between Eurostar and Thalys received the approval of the European Commission at the end of March 2022, giving birth to the Eurostar Group holding company on May 1, 2022.

Eurostar Group is owned by SNCF Voyages Développement (55.75%), a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs, CDPQ (19.31%), SNCB/NMBS (18.50%) and funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure (6.44%).

The holding company is based in Brussels and owns 100% of the shares of Eurostar International Limited (Eurostar) and THI Factory SA (Thalys), which remain fully-fledged railway undertakings and are headquartered in London and Brussels respectively.

The ambition is to offer an attractive alternative to road and air transport and to accelerate the modal shift from 19 million passengers transported in 2019 to 30 million in 10 years.

The new entity will offer the largest international high-speed network in Western Europe and has set itself the objective of deploying an ambitious environmental policy in the coming years.

Brussels, 24 January 2023

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