February 26, 2021

Travel by AVE fell 66% and Renfe lost half of its passengers in the year of the pandemic


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The pandemic closed Spain for three months and, later, the restrictions of the second wave again limited movements between provinces and autonomous communities. Consequently, trips were reduced to levels hitherto unrecorded within our borders as well. As the lowering of train passengers Of high speed bird, which registered 66% fewer travelers in 2020, according to the Statistics National Institute (INE). In this way, it only added in the year of the pandemic 7.6 million users, 11.8 adding the total of long distance trains. Quite a debacle.

But not only at high speed. The blow affected all the RENFE segments. Thus, the medium-distance train suffered a fall of more than 55% and even trips in trains of commuters fell 45%, despite being linked to a more daily activity of the passengers. In total, last year about 335 million passengers used rail transport, 47.4% less than in 2019, according to the INE. So Renfe lost about half of its passengers.

The other big blow for national routes was received by the airline sector, which not only lost the business of travel abroad, but also could not overcome something with the internal ones. In total, 16.9 million travelers were registered thanks to the normality of the first two months of the year and the permissibility of movements in summer, which allowed national tourists to travel to the Balearic and Canary archipelagos.

For its part, the INE also includes in its statistics the total of maritime movements. In this case, the drop was less pronounced, although it was also above 50%. Thus, 5.6 million users were registered in this case.

The less pronounced fall occurred in bus transport, which, due to its daily use, registered a less serious but no less striking fall. Thus, trips in the interurban segment fell to 397 million travelers, 45% less than in 2019.

But not only restrictions, but also personal safety measures against the virus brought down the use of public transport. This is reflected in the fall in urban transport users (45.8%), but especially in the Spanish metro networks, which registered 47.3% fewer passengers.

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