PARIS, June 14 (Reuters) - British and French authorities have granted German train operator Deutsche Bahn the right to run passenger services through the Channel tunnel, tunnel operator Eurotunnel said in a statement on Friday.
“Twenty years after the start of commercial services, the authorities have finally opened the Channel Tunnel to all,” Eurotunnel Chairman and Chief Executive Jacques Gounon said in the statement.
The decision will boost travel between Britain and countries such as Germany and the Netherlands and will, over time, add between 3 and 4 million passengers per year to the 10 million already using high-speed train services, he added.
Last year, state-owned Deutsche Bahn said it would delay the launch of direct train services between London and Frankfurt to at least 2016, compared with initial plans to start the route in 2013.
Cross-Channel train services are currently operated by Eurostar, which is majority-owned by French state-owned SNCF.
Eurotunnel gets a fee for each train passing through the tunnel linking Dover to Calais.