Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Airline in talks with German rail company
Air France is looking into the possibility of starting a rival cross channel rail service to Eurostar.
The airline has been in informal talks with the German train operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) and has also been having meetings in the past months with executives from Travelport.
The carrier has also had talks with a leading rail freight company, Veolia Transport about forming a strategic partnership to run high speed train services.
A high speed cross channel service by Air France will be possible from January 1, 2010 when the liberalisation of rail passenger services in the EU comes into force.
When the talks with Veolia started last summer, AF said in a statement: "In the context of the deregulation of European transport, effective as from 1st January 2010, Air France and Veolia Transport are examining the possibility of concluding a strategic partnership aimed at introducing a new player in the European high speed rail sector."
Eurostar, in which the French rail company SNCF is a major stakeholder, is currently the only operator on the high speed link between London and Paris and Brussels.
But the track on which this service runs in the UK, High Speed One will be used for high speed domestic services later this year.
DB has been previously linked with a possible rival service through the Channel Tunnel, with one report saying it would link London to Cologne, a train journey of around five hours.
Cologne has a high speed link to Brussels as part of the Thalys rail network which also includes Paris and Amsterdam.
The German company denied the story at the time.
DB, whose ceo Hartmut Mehdorn resigned this week after a spying scandal, was also reported to be interested in buying a stake in Eurostar.
In the past 18 months, DB has bought up several UK rail companies, both for passengers and freight.
London and Continental Railways which owns the £5.8bn High Speed One line which opened in 2007, said new procedures would need to be set up to allow a new operator to use the line.
www.airfrance.com www.eurostar.com www.bahn.de www.lcrhq.co.uk