Spanish rail operator Renfe has unveiled its riposte to SNCF’s low-cost Ouigo.
As Business Traveller reported last month, France’s SNCF will be introducing its Ouigo TGV on the Spanish domestic market in a year’s time.
Today, Renfe announced it will introduce Avlo, its own low-cost yet high-speed (HS) rival, which will commence operations on the busy Barcelona-Madrid HS line.
The launch date will be April 6, which will give Renfe many months to establish itself in the domestic market. Its new budget service is sure to encourage more travellers to take the train in this age of ‘flight shame.’
More information can be found in this report from fr24.news, which reveals that while Avlo will start with one route it will later be expanded to other domestic services.
Business Traveller is the first UK media to bring you this news. At time of writing no information is available on service frequency or whether reservations will be online only.
I say this because, as we have noted many times, SNCF’s Ouigo is ticketless (i.e. electronic ticketing only).
Renfe will face further competition from June 2020 when Italy’s Trenitalia has been granted approval to compete within Spain.
Again it is unclear what sort of product Trenitalia will be offering. It might be low-cost or it might be conventional as we see in the UK with Avanti on the West Coast Mainline (WCML). See our recent report…
But Renfe is not sitting still.
Yesterday fr24.com reported that “Renfe prepares its revenge: wants to operate the Spanish AVE in France and Italy.”