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WORLD WATCH

International Business / The Pacific

May 30, 1996

Chunnel to Cut Fares: The Channel Tunnel said it will slash prices for passenger cars on its "Le Shuttle" trains as part of a stepped-up effort to lure customers away from ferry companies. Eurotunnel is seeking more customers as it works toward restructuring debts that pushed it into default on $12 billion in bank loans in September. Besides the fare cuts, Eurotunnel will offer frequent-traveler points, priority boarding for high-paying business travelers and a new newspaper containing travel information. But ferry operators said the fare cut still won't beat prices on most ferry tickets. Ferry operators have long said their boats--with restaurants, bars and shopping--are more attractive than the stark Le Shuttle boxcars, which are touted as about 40 minutes faster. The cuts, effective between June 1 and Aug. 31, are part of a plan to streamline a complicated fare structure.

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