Eurostar boss: 'State of the art' fleet set to grow European rail market

    Just Watched

    Eurostar's billion dollar investment

Eurostar's billion dollar investment 05:01

Story highlights

  • Eurostar CEO Nicolas Petrovic expects the new carriers to be online within the next three to four years
  • Possible destinations for Eurostar include West Germany, Holland and Switzerland
  • Petrovic not fazed by impending competition from Deutsche Bahn in Channel Tunnel

Eurostar plans to launch a "state of the art" fleet of trains that can carry passengers to the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, according to the company's boss.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of the European high-speed train company, expects the new carriers and routes to be online within the next three to four years, as the rail operator looks to rebuild and make a "fresh start."

EXPLORE INTERACTIVE: How confident are you in the euro?

Speaking with CNN's Nina dos Santos, Petrovic said the company would "grab the opportunity of open access in Europe." He added: "What we really want to do is gain market share against the airlines."

The international train operator has built its success by bridging the gap between the UK and Europe, running services from London to Brussels and Paris.

But after nearly two decades of monopoly over the Channel Tunnel, Eurostar is facing competition for the undersea rail line as German operator Deutsche Bahn prepares to launch a London to Brussels service.

    Just Watched

    Eurostar to expand across Europe

Eurostar to expand across Europe 03:32
PLAY VIDEO

READ MORE: Model trains motor their way back home

      Just Watched

      Eurostar profits doubled in 2012

    Eurostar profits doubled in 2012 03:22
    PLAY VIDEO

    Petrovic said he is not worried by the prospect of rivalry for the London to Europe routes. He added: "We'll see who the customers prefer but in my view it will grow the overall market."

    Eurostar tickets for an adult traveling from London to Paris cost £69 ($104) for standard class to £250 ($378) for business class. Petrovic told CNN that the company was looking "very carefully" at pricing, adding that the biggest cost to Eurostar's business is the levy on using the Channel tunnel.

    READ MORE: How American apple pie is warming struggling Spain

    In June, the European Commission told Eurotunnel -- the France-based manager of the Channel Tunnel -- to cut its charges for passenger and freight trains using the route.

    The Commission claimed the charges were too high and discouraged passengers from traveling by train while hurting the freight industry.

    Petrovic said: "We have to pay per passenger a fee which is something like 30 euros...if you sell a ticket at let's say £79 or £69 return, a big chunk of that money is going to the tunnel so the European Commission said numbers should come down.

    "If it were the case we could pass on this reduction to the customers," he added.

        Marketplace Europe

      • spc marketplace europe latvia valdis dombrovskis_00021207.jpg

        CNN's Nina Dos Santos visits Latvia to speak to the country's outgoing Prime Minister and the prospects for the eurozone's 18th member.
      • spc marketplace europe malta immigration africa_00002118.jpg

        Malta is the gateway to Europe and on the frontline of the immigration flows. Isa Soares reports from a detention center on the Mediterranean island.
      • spc marketplace europe malta immigration vox pops_00001419.jpg

        CNN's Isa Soares speaks with people on the streets of Valletta who say their country can't cope with more migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
      • spc marketplace europe malta george vella_00032005.jpg

        Malta cannot afford to continue supporting migrants from war-torn countries in its over-crowded detention camps, the country's foreign minister has told CNN.
      • spc marketplace europe 2013 what went wrong_00020426.jpg

        Slow recoveries, bailouts, and youth unemployment. Richard Quest speaks to Europe's top CEOs about the issues of 2013.
      • spc marketplace europe 2013 defining moments bob parker intv_00010826.jpg

        CNN's Richard Quest speaks to economist Bob Parker about defining moments of 2013 and about what to expect in 2014.
      • spc marketplace europe estonia energy_00000923.jpg

        The Baltic nation of Estonia is developing its oil shale energy reserves in a bid to become energy self-sufficient.
      • spc marketplace europe nani beccalli falco_00041005.jpg

        Europe must stop being nationalistic if it wants to help a lost generation of workers, the regional boss of U.S. conglomerate General Electric says.
      • spc marketplace europe greece petros christodoulou_00002025.jpg

        Greece is on the way to economic recovery as investor faith returns to the recession-ridden eurozone nation, an executive at Greece's largest bank has told CNN.
      • spc marketplace europe euro jim cloos_00012617.jpg

        One of the masterminds behind the euro says Europe would have suffered a far worse fate if the single currency had never been created.
      • spc marketplace europe maastricht eu_00002401.jpg

        Nina Dos Santos visits the Dutch city where the European treaty carrying the city's name came into force 20 years ago.
      • spc marketplace europe spain working hours_00010525.jpg

        As Spain continues its drive to slash budgets and cut spending, one of the nation's favorite pastimes is under threat as ministers look for ways to boost productivity.