France’s SNCF, with its low-cost Ouigo, is already preparing for its launch in Spain on 10 May, coinciding with the end of the state of emergency. And it is already parking some of its trains at Madrid’s Atocha station.
The new high-speed line will have a total of 10 daily departures linking Madrid and Barcelona in 2 hours and 30 minutes. The line will include stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona.
Certainly, the French company has been in the spotlight for a few months now for its wild commercial offers. On 24 September 2020, it launched a campaign to sell tickets at one euro to the first 10,000 passengers who registered on its website. The campaign was a resounding success, and the tickets were sold out within hours.
Now, Ouigo has launched another succulent campaign: from 9 December, ticket sales are open for travel from 10 May 2021 with a basic fare of 9 euros. These tickets are customisable and include hand luggage and cabin luggage, as well as the option to change the ticket holder up to the day before the trip.
Also, for an additional 9 euros, passengers can access the ‘Ouigo Plus’ package, which includes a choice of seat, the possibility of reserving an ‘XL’ seat, an additional piece of luggage and connection to ‘OUIFun’, an entertainment system on board.
The company also offers the possibility of adding other a la carte options, such as additional luggage for 5 euros, flexible ticket for 7 euros, or travelling with a pet in a carrier for 10 euros.
At the same time, tickets for children under the age of 3 are free, and children between the ages of 4 and 13 -both included- can travel at a flat rate of 5 euros, including their own hand luggage.
With regard to the measures contemplated for the coronavirus, masks will be compulsory for both passengers and crew, hydroalcoholic gel will be available to passengers and all trains will be cleaned and disinfected.
On the other hand, Avlo, which will finally start operating on 23 June, has launched a ground-breaking campaign that will last three weeks with tickets at 5 euros each way. These prices will be in force until 14 February next, and the tickets will allow travel between 23 June and 11 December this year.
Renfe’s low-cost train will start the service with four daily journeys in each direction between Madrid and Barcelona, which can be extended throughout the year depending on the evolution of demand.
It will also include stops in all the cities on Renfe’s Northeast Corridor (Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida, Tarragona, Girona and Figueres). It is a measure to increase the number of passengers.