The Spanish LGV is fully competitive

Published on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 2:43 pm

Three rail firms will provide their companies on the Spanish high-speed community from Friday: Renfe, SNCF and now Erio. A primary intently scrutinized in Europe, the place the introduction of competitors is upending the rail market.

A joint subsidiary of Italian group Trenitalia (45%), Spanish airline Air Nostrum (31%) and infrastructure firm Globalvia (24%), Erio made its maiden voyage on Monday, 4 days earlier than the beginning of its business operations.

This new firm involves compete with present operators Renfe and SNCF, current from May 2021 by its subsidiary Ouigo within the Spanish high-speed community, the most important in Europe and second on the earth after China, with 4,000 kilometers devoted. road

The arrival of this third operator is “a historic step” for Spanish excessive velocity and “for passengers” who could have “a selection between a number of firms” on sure axes, underlines AFP Carlos Lerida, professor on the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM).

A transfer that is all of the extra vital, in response to this skilled on rail transport, as a result of it is “unprecedented” in Europe. “Until now, no high-speed community has labored with three opponents. So Spain can function a mannequin,” Mr. Lerida emphasised.

– “Democratization” –

Initially, solely the Madrid-Barcelona line shall be served by a Trenitalia subsidiary. But Erio, which has 20 trains, will run on the Madrid-Valencia axis from mid-December, earlier than transferring on to Madrid-Seville and Madrid-Malaga in March 2023.

Enough to compete straight with Renof, but in addition with Oigo Spain, which already serves Barcelona and Valencia, and plans to launch trains to Andalucia (southeast) then Andalusia by 2023.

This competitors is “the results of the framework settlement signed with Adif”, the supervisor of the Spanish rail community, which granted site visitors slots “for ten years” in these completely different sections in 2019, underlines Carlos Lerida.

An evolution inspired by the federal government of socialist Pedro Sánchez, eager to make the Spanish high-speed community extra worthwhile and scale back ticket costs, which had been too excessive till then.

Transport Minister Raquel Sánchez famous in a press launch on Monday that this “unprecedented opening of the market will make excessive velocity accessible to a better variety of residents” and “improve the profitability” of the LGV community.

An evaluation shared by Owego Spain director Helen Valenzuela, who confirmed that the Spanish community was “underutilized”. For the corporate, which invested 630 million euros in its Spanish enterprise, in opposition to a billion euros for Erio, “the danger taking was due to this fact restricted”, he burdened to AFP.

– “Opportunity” –

Since the arrival of Oigo, attendance has elevated by 14% throughout the complete community and by 47% between Madrid and Barcelona, ​​in response to Adif. According to the competitors authority, the ticket worth has been lowered by 25% on this class.

Faced with Ouigo’s aggressive pricing, Renfe launched its personal low-cost prepare, known as Avlo. The Spanish operator, which desires to enter the French market, has renovated its fleet and strengthened its companies for customers.

“We see the arrival of competitors as a possibility and never as an issue”, assures a spokesperson for the corporate, which expects a pointy improve in presence within the medium time period with “45 million customers”, i.e. “10 million greater than at this time”. “

“Our huge opponents are planes and vehicles, not different trains”, loads of Helen Valenzuela, for which the competitors “advantages the entire sector”: “On a technical stage, it is a problem, as a result of it has to arrange the stream within the stations. But economically, it is a Opportunity”.

In his press launch, the transport minister mentioned on Monday that he desires to broaden the competitors to different routes, particularly to Galicia (northwest) and the Mediterranean coast. We want “reciprocity in different EU international locations to broaden the market”, he burdened.

National firms have misplaced their monopoly on high-speed strains below rail liberalization carried out by Brussels. But the launch of competitors in a number of international locations, together with France, has been delayed, notably by the reluctance of incumbent operators.


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