After surprise Channel Tunnel strike, traffic 'returned to normal' and trains added for Christmas weekend

After a surprise strike which paralyzed the Channel Tunnel on Thursday, the circulation of Eurostar trains departing from London, Paris and Brussels “has today returned to normal”, the company declared on Friday December 22 in a message sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP)

After surprise Channel Tunnel strike, traffic 'returned to normal' and trains added for Christmas weekend

After a surprise strike which paralyzed the Channel Tunnel on Thursday, the circulation of Eurostar trains departing from London, Paris and Brussels “has today returned to normal”, the company declared on Friday December 22 in a message sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The SNCF subsidiary said it had added eight trains to circulation and put more than 10,000 additional seats on sale between Friday and Sunday.

On Thursday afternoon, the Channel Tunnel was closed due to a surprise strike by French staff at Eurotunnel, the company that operates it. It was able to reopen Thursday evening, the unions arguing for “result-producing” discussions with their management.

The management of Getlink, parent company of Eurotunnel, indicated in the afternoon that the union organizations were demanding a tripling of the bonus of 1,000 euros which had been promised to them.

Meanwhile, all trains between Paris and Brussels on one side and London on the other had been canceled at the beginning of the afternoon, causing panic among thousands of departing travelers.

Some relied on buses, according to the operator BlaBlaCar, three of which took ferries on Thursday rather than going through the tunnel. “All our buses were immediately full an hour after the announcement” of the strike, the operator told AFP.

Travelers had even less luck on the airport side: Air France said that at this time of year all flights to London were already full or almost full.