Spain: Renfe trains finally have competition

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TC | At the same time as the state of alarm in Spain ended, the French “low-cost” subsidiary Ouigo – a subsidiary of SNCF – initiated the liberalization of passenger trains in Spain today, Monday. With five daily high-speed trains between Madrid and Barcelona, ​​two of which stop in Zaragoza and one in Tarragona, and at really competitive prices: from 9 euros for adults and with a flat rate of 5 euros for children up to 14 years of age.
After 80 years of Renfe’s monopoly, Ouigo is allowed to operate on the high-speed lines Madrid-Barcelona, ​​Madrid-Valencia and Madrid-Seville. The Italian Ilsa will also be active in the same market next year.
In response to Ouigo’s challenge, Renfe will be on the 23rd Guadalajara).

Originally, AVLO should have started operations in April last year and Ouigo in December, but the pandemic and restrictions forced the debut to be postponed. Spain‘s 3,806-kilometer high-speed network is the second longest in the world, but it is clearly underutilized. “Liberalization is supposed to remedy this,” said Adif President Isabel Pardo de Vera. At full capacity, the offer will initially be increased by 65 percent (50 percent on the Madrid-Barcelona route, 40 percent on the Madrid-Valencia route and 60 percent on the Madrid-Seville route).

“We want to popularize high speeds and be the means of transport for the whole family, children, the elderly and pets,” said Hélène Valenzuela, General Manager of Ouigo Spain. All tickets can be customized, the basic tariff from 9 euros includes hand luggage and 1 hand luggage as well as the option to change ticket holders up to the day before the trip. For an additional 9 euros, the company offers “Ouigo Plus”, a “package” that includes additional services: seat selection, the option to reserve an XL seat, an additional piece of luggage and the connection to “OUIFun”, the company’s entertainment offer Platform.



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