THE head of Spain’s rail operator Renfe has slammed his competitors, Ouigo and Iryo, for not being financially viable to stand on their own two feet.

Raul Blanco, president of Renfe, said the two foreign-owned firms are losing money hand over fist and are being propped up by the Italian and French governments.

“They are companies that invoice €100 million and lose €45 million over three years,” commented Blanco.

He believes that, if the fight were between three 100% private companies, ‘it would be more balanced because they would not have the continuous losses and the market situation would be much more stable’.

RAUL BLANCO(La Moncloa image)

Ouigo and Iryo have been operating low-cost high-speed train services in Spain for three years and are expanding routes in direct competition to Renfe.

Raul Blanco promised that the ‘relentless price war’ will continue.

“We will see where it goes,” the Renfe chief said.

His comments come after Spain’s Minister of Transport, Oscar Puente, also criticised the support that Ouigo and Iryo receive from their respective countries.

“We would like to have in France the operational possibilities that the competition authority(CNMC) grants in Spain to companies from France or Italy, which by the way are losing money and a lot,“ he said.

“But they have the support of their state-owned companies.”

OSCAR PUENTE(La Moncloa image)

Blanco insisted on the need for fair competition during his breakfast speech at an event organised by the Llobregat Business Forum.

“We should compete on equal terms and just as facilities are made for the arrival of new operators in Spain, the same should be done in other countries,” he added.


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