The major European rail operators are taking positions towards the liberalization of the sector in Spain. The French state company SNCF has confirmed on Monday that it has been negotiating for months with Spanish companies Ilsa, subsidiary of Air Nostrum, and Acciona to launch itself to compete with Renfe when the high-speed train (AVE) lines are opened to competition in December. 2020 The objective would be to put into circulation the trains of the National Railway Company (SNCF) on national lines, a spokesperson told Efe, insisting that the project "is in the negotiation phase". According to the French economic daily "Les Echos", those conversations carried out under the assistance of the Rothschild bank are based on the conviction of Ilsa (Intermodalidad de Levante SA) and Acciona that Renfe is "vulnerable", particularly in the high-risk areas. speed.
In order to compete with the Spanish public operator they try to associate themselves with a specialist in the railway sector, and the SNCF is not the only alternative considered. According to the French newspaper, Ilsa also gropes the German public group Deutsche Bahn and NTV, the private company that in Italy already competes with the state company Trenitalia.
The main strengths of the SNCF are its experience in the operation of low cost trains in France, with its Ouigo brand, and the ability to put into service several tens of high-speed trains when the market is open to competition. Spanish. Further, In the event that Ilsa opted for another partner, the French group plans to embark on the exploitation of AVE lines in Spain alone, according to the same newspaper.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Acciona already announced its intention to ally with one of the major European operators to compete with Renfe for high speed. His idea is not only to give the battle in the corridor of greater traffic, the Madrid-Barcelona, but in all those that consider profitable. To defend against the entry of private competitors, Renfe plans to launch a "low cost" service, known as EVA. The project does not yet have a definite launch date, although the intention of the company headed by Isaías Táboas is to start operating before the liberalization of the sector in December of next year. Among its strengths would be its price. The public operator estimates that they could be up to 40% lower than those offered by the conventional AVE service.