TRAVELLING by high-speed rail may become a lot cheaper in Spain next year after parts of the AVE networks were sold off today.
Starting from December 14 next year, 20% of journeys will be managed by Intermodalidad de Levante (made up of Spain’s Air Nostrum and Italy’s public operator Trenitalia).
Another 10% will be operated by French-state owned company Rielsfera, while 70% will remain under Spanish Renfe.
The agreement reached today will be set in stone after being reviewed by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC).
Once in effect, there will be a total of 165 journeys each day, 66 more than at present.
It means the number of trips on the high-speed network will increase by up to 65%.
Between Madrid, Cordoba, Malaga and Sevilla, there will be 61 journeys, compared to the current 35, a 75% increase.
It means the likes of Malaga will see up to nine extra trains per day.
For Madrid-Barcelona, ??53 journeys will be offered (compared to the current 27 on average); and for Madrid-Levante –Valencia-Alicante there will be 53, compared to the current 37.
While the price wars are not expected to begin until next December, Renfe is launching its low-cost product in April next year between Madrid and Barcelona.
It will expand to the rest of the lines by the middle of the year.
These will include up to 40% discounts on the current average price of €52 each way.
From December 14, 2020, travellers on the AVE will be able to choose between three companies for the first time in history.