AccorHotels and SNCF Group, owner of the iconic Orient Express brand, have teamed up to continue the development of Orient Express within the luxury hospitality sector globally. As part of this partnership, AccorHotels will be acquiring a 50 per cent stake in the share capital of Orient Express, until now fully-owned by SNCF. AccorHotels intends to build on this partnership to strengthen its leadership in the luxury segment by developing a new collection of prestigious hotels under the Orient Express banner. This collection, which aims to be the very epitome of the art of travel, will offer a unique experience steeped in history that combines the luxury, exoticism, and sophistication of East and West in iconic locations. In addition, the seven historic cars, symbols of French Art Deco, will remain the physical property of the state-owned rail group and will be operated by Orient Express for private journeys and events. They will provide a new and exceptional setting for the organisation of events, which may be held in collaboration with AccorHotels’ other business ventures such as Potel & Chabot, Noctis and John Paul. AccorHotels and SNCF Group are also committed to preserving, promoting and sharing the heritage connected with the legendary train and its history through the Orient Express Endowment Fund, a public interest body whose aim is to encourage and support awareness-building initiatives to benefit a wide audience in the field of the arts and culture.
Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels, says, “We are delighted with this strategic partnership, which cements the alliance of two major French players in the world of travel for a shared purpose, that of giving fresh impetus and international standing to a historic and world-renowned brand. Thanks to this partnership, our customers will be able to enjoy a prestigious range of services and exceptional experiences based on a portfolio of luxury brands.”