January 23, 2021

Renfe will appeal to the Audiencia Nacional the private AVE to Barcelona

Renfe will appeal to the Audiencia Nacional the private AVE to Barcelona


As expected, Renfe will try to impede in the courts the imminent entry into service of a private AVE in the Madrid-Barcelona corridor that overshadows it. On September 18, the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNCM) authorized Ilsa, a company controlled by Air Nostrum, to operate the international high-speed line between Madrid and Montpellier, making stops in Barcelona and Zaragoza. Ilsa tries to take advantage of a European directive on international transport to break the monopoly of Renfe's high speed before the planned date for the liberalization of the sector, 2020.

The resolution gave Renfe a period of two months from its communication to appeal to the National Court the decision once the administrative procedure with its decision was exhausted. And sources of the public operator presided over by Isaías Táboas have confirmed to LA RAZÓN that they will do so. Although they have not wanted to offer more details about the content of the resource, in the allegations that Renfe presented to the Ilsa project, it has already made clear which are the points in which it disagrees with the Competition. To begin with, he assures that the project does not fulfill, for very little, the requirement that 20% of the journey runs outside of Spain. It also distrusts that Ilsa can fulfill the obligation that 30% of the tickets it sells are destined for the international route.

Renfe also assures that the Valencian company will not be able to comply with another one of the approaches of its business plan: to rent him the rolling stock. According to the public operator, it does not have the S-100 locomotives with a capacity for 347 passengers that the Valencian group intends to lease. In addition, the company ensures that, even if they did, they are not approved to travel through French territory. To clarify this point, Competencia is instructing a report on Renfe's ability to rent equipment to the competition. In anticipation of what might happen, Ilsa would be looking for alternatives to rent this material in countries like Italy, where railway liberalization was undertaken years ago.

The rupture of Renfe's monopoly before 2020 could also occur in another international corridor, which links La Coruña and Oporto. The German operator Deutsche Bahn, through its Spanish subsidiary Arriva Spain Rail, has asked Competencia for permission to operate the corridor and is waiting to achieve it in the coming weeks. Like Ilsa, Arriva also intends to rent its rolling stock to Renfe. If it succeeds and the road is electrified, it could start operating in July of next year.

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