Renfe rearms its low-cost service to combat new competitors. The
Cheap AVE from the operatorthe Avlo, will begin its services on the Madrid-Valencia line this Monday, February 21, with six daily circulations, three in each direction, (2,200 daily seats in total) and a minimum price of 7 euros. The plans of the public company are to extend this service "in a minimum period" so that Avlo reaches Alicante.
Avlo arrives in Valencia after being operational since June in Madrid-Barcelona. Between that month and January, the service transported 734,000 passengers, 3 million with the addition of the AVE. The company explained this Thursday, on a trip prior to the opening of the line, that it has already sold 100,000 Avlo tickets in this new corridor.
In addition, the demand for high-speed services in the Madrid-Valencia has rebounded 40% compared to the previous year in these weeks.
four of the six Avlo trains (two in each direction) to Valencia will have stops at the Cuenca Fernando Zóbel and Requena-Utiel stations. In a first phase, the Avlo of the Madrid-Valencia corridor will be series 112 trains with external vinyl (with a capacity of 365 seats each). Later, in a second phase, when Renfe incorporates the new trains of the series
106 manufactured by TalgoAvlo similar to those of the Madrid-Barcelona corridor will be incorporated, with a capacity for 438 seats.
Passengers will only be able to opt for economy class and changes and cancellations will have a cost as long as they are made less than 30 minutes in advance and a supplement of eight euros has not been purchased.
Renfe's director of high-speed services, Francisco Arteaga, explained that "one of the focuses of Renfe's strategic plan is to focus on the customer in order to reach more segments that may not have approached high-speed for the price".
In addition, Arteaga has announced that Renfe will soon recover the fifth lost frequency in the Madrid-Barcelona corridor due to the impact of the pandemic and the arrival of the Avlo in Alicante, it will be undertaken in a "minimum period". Renfe's plans go through reaching the pre-pandemic passenger figures this 2022 in high speed.
Asked about the
Avlo next stops, the director of Renfe has explained that the cheap train will go "where there is demand". The railway operator plans to extend the Avlo service to the route Madrid-Seville before the end of the year. Arteaga has also acknowledged that the operator is interested in connecting Alicante with Galicia without transfers when Adif completes the works of the so-called train of laughter, which will connect the Madrid stations of Atocha with Chamartín.
For his part, José Estrada, Adif general director of circulation, has highlighted that the arrival of Avlo in Valencia constitutes one more episode of the “train game” in “in which the winners are being the passengers, who have more services”.