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Ryanair 'defeated' by high-speed train services

20 Jan 2014 by Alex McWhirter

It's unusual for Ryanair to surrender to anyone.

But it appears the Irish budget carrier has conceded defeat to the train in its attempt to operate a viable air service between Milan and Rome.

Ryanair will cease flying between Italy's two most important cities with effect from the end of March, reports Swiss aviation website ch-aviation.ch.

It currently operates between Milan Orio al Serio and Rome Ciampino, but increasing pressure from two high-speed rail firms appears to have made the route commercially unviable.

Italy is unique among every other country in mainland Europe, and the UK, in having not just one, but two high-speed train operators using modern high-speed trains to ply the same route.

One operator is state-owned Trenitalia, the other is "open access" firm Italo. Together, both provide a frequent and reasonably priced train service throughout the day, taking just over three hours and 15 minutes between the two cities.

Full details of both train firms can be found in the September 2013 issue of Business Traveller.

ryanair.comitalotreno.ittenitalia.com

Alex McWhirter

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