October 20, 2020

The runners of Valencia and Seville, favorites to expand the AVE «low cost» in 2021



The Madrid City Council demands that the Government take the high speed to the T-4. Renfe and Aena support the connection. Iberia estimates that it would contribute up to 400,000 travelers to Barajas

Although the service will not start until Easter, Renfe is already thinking about how to grow his AVE «low cost». Initially, AVLO will operate between Madrid and Barcelona with tickets whose prices will range between 10 and 60 euros. But the public operator already manages growth scenarios. During his speech at the Hotusa Forum, its president, Isaías Táboas, said yesterday that the operator will consider next year to extend its routes. «In the middle of 2021 we will have new trains and we will consider implementing more AVLO services where the masses of people who move make this product profitable, which has to be profitable despite its low starting prices, ”he explained. And those brokers where the “masses” can be “profitable” for Renfe would be those of Levante (Valencia and Alicante) and the South (Sevilla-Málaga), according to market sources.

Both routes, together with the one that links Madrid with Barcelona, ​​are the ones that will have private competition from December, when the French public company SNCF starts operating (the Ilsa consortium formed by Air Nostrum and Trenitalia will not do so until January 2022 ). These are the three corridors with the most travelers and, therefore, the ones that offer the most possibilities to the AVLO. According to the latest report of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) of the railway sector, in 2018, the northeast corridor (Madrid-Barcelona-French border) registered a traffic of 7.87 million passengers; the south, of 6,982 million; and the east, of 4.26 million.

The AVE will be very present this year at the present time of the Ministry of Transportation not only for liberalization. The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, brought up yesterday in the same forum another project that has been talking for years but not just see the light: the High speed network connection with the T-4 at Barajas airport. Martínez-Almeida asked the new government for its construction to ensure the connection of the largest airport hub in Spain with the high-speed network. A request that the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said he will transmit to the Department of Transportation, competent in the matter, to see if it “fits” in their plans.

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The popular mayor found in his claim the support of Táboas, who assured that Renfe would be “delighted to operate” the connection; and from Aena. The president of the owner of Barajas said that, in the long term, they would like to have this link. Iberia had so far been the strongest defender of the arrival of the AVE to the T-4. The airline considers that it would report to the hub an additional traffic of between 300,000 and 400,000 passengers. In addition, it defends that it would also contribute to reducing polluting emissions by transferring passengers from the plane to the train on routes where high speed is competitive.

To take the AVE to Barajas, two options are handled. The most economical (150 million) would imply the construction of a third thread on the Príncipe-Atocha-Recoletos-Chamartín-Aeropuerto T-4 Commuter Line. The other, more expensive (400 million) would require the construction of a completely new branch of European width. Although the final decision rests with Transport, Aena itself commissioned in May a study on accessibility to its airports in which it requested that specific work on high speed be carried out.

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