Yes I realise that restrictions mean that travel within Spain is not possible for most of you right now.
But I can report that SNCF has today (Friday May 7) launched its Ouigo TGV service in Spain.
This is something on which we have reported many times over the past year.
With its Ouigo brand France’s SNCF has acted in an enterprising way compared to other state-owned train companies in mainland Europe.
SNCF has emulated the business model of low-cost airlines in terms of pricing and how Ouigo’s tickets are sold.
— Stephane Rapebach (@s_rapebach) May 7, 2021
Stephane Rapebach, the MD of SNCF’s Ouigo brand, sums up what’s on offer: tickets priced from €9 one-way (just like a low-cost carrier), high-speed meaning it operates at 300 km/h,and its use of modern double-deck TGVs.
This morning I checked Ouigo’s website and there was ample availability of those €9 fares in the days ahead although of course by the time you read these words things might have changed.
According to the booking pages customers booking these low fares have the flexibility in the coming weeks to make changes.
Ouigo will be competing with Renfe’s Avlo budget brand. It has over a one month’s start as Avlo will not launch until late June.
One issue as noted by EU expert Jon Worth is that SNCF is so far reserving Ouigo for domestic markets.
France's SNCF muscling in on Spain's high speed rail market. Using TGVs that used to run in France…
… but there will be no cross-border 🇫🇷🇪🇸 low cost OUIGO train, as that'd decrease SNCF's profit margins
All of the mess of EU rail in one little case https://t.co/E9kGWuvjEW
— Jon Worth (@jonworth) May 7, 2021
I am sure many travellers would like to see Ouigo operating international services including Paris-London.