Iryo, the first private operator on this high-speed AVE Malaga to Madrid line, has launched a special discount campaign from 31 March.
At the moment, Iryo will offer two daily departures in each direction: from Madrid’s Atocha station at 7.55am (arriving at 10.30am) and at 2.55pm (arriving at 5.30pm). While from Malaga’s María Zambrano station it will depart at 11.30 (arriving at 2.09pm) and at 8.45pm (arriving at 11.24pm).
Even outside this promotional campaign, the arrival of the high-speed competition will mean a considerable reduction in the average prices to travel between both cities throughout 2023.
For example, on 1 April it is possible to travel from Atocha to María Zambrano for 46.25 euros. But for the return journey, on 3 or 4 April, promotional seats are available for 18 euros.
From Madrid on 5 April, the cheapest price is 36 euros, and for the return trip on 8 April, the price starts at 32.5 euros.
The so-called "red arrow" promotional tickets appear on different days and routes, according to the various checks made by this newspaper on its website, although it is easier to find them on the route from Malaga to Madrid than the other way round.
Renfe is responding to the competition with an increased service on the Malaga-Madrid line from 23 January 2023, when the train operator has announced that there will be one more train on weekdays in each direction.
The increased service will see a last weekday departure from Madrid at 8.30pm, and from Malaga at 8pm. Until now, these trains only ran on Fridays and Sundays.
In addition, the number of services at weekends will be increased. On Fridays, there will be 25 departures, compared to the current 22. The last train from the Spanish capital will depart at 9.30pm. And on Sundays the last train from the Costa del Sol will depart at 9.18pm.