Spain’s The Independent reports that SNCF of France has not forgotten its intention to introduce its Ouigo TGV services on (Spanish) domestic routes from December.
Ouigo is a budget TGV which emulates the business plan of LCCs (low-cost airlines).
It has proved to be a success in France. In Spain the plan is for Ouigo would operate on several domestic routes covering cities including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.
SNCF says it would be investing over Euros 700 million in the venture which would initially comprise a fleet of nine Alstom TGVs rising to 14 from 2022.
Trials will be conducted in the months ahead to enable SNCF’s TGVs to gain approval from Spain’s rail regulator.
The actual start date for SNCF’s operation would be December 14 which is when the Spanish market is scheduled to open up to rail competition.
As previously reported, Spanish rail operator Renfe, has been preparing for this competition by introducing a rival Avlo service.
Avlo was planned to launch on April 6 but that date has been postponed owing to Covid-19.
Of course there is no guaranteed that SNCF’s Ouigo service will start as planned, because of the Covid-19 situation, we shall have to await developments.
Finally, Italy’s Trenitalia also intends to enter the Spanish domestic market in 2022.