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File image of an Iryo high-speed passenger train at a railway platform in Madrid. EFE
Private high-speed train operator Iryo set to raise rail ticket prices in Spain to make fares 'fair'
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Private high-speed train operator Iryo set to raise rail ticket prices in Spain to make fares 'fair'

The Italian company has signed agreements with airlines, bus, shipping companies and taxis in a bid to make the whole travel experience "much easier" as part of its Conecta plan

Edurne Martínez

Madrid

Wednesday, 5 June 2024, 10:59

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The price war on high speed trains in Spain continues, but just like state company Renfe, on Tuesday 4 June it was the turn of the Italian private operator Iryo which dissociated itself from rival Ouigo's low-cost policy.

Iryo's CEO, Simone Gorini, confirmed a price increase of its train tickets to "give the right value" and offer "quality" products to its customers, something that has always been "the main objective" of his company.

"Inevitably prices will rise, but this rise will have to be consistent with the level of quality we are providing," said the executive during an event to present the company's new multimodal commercial offer. Sources from the operator pointed out this market is not yet mature and that it is "normal" that when a sector begins to grow there are more aggressive pricing policies. And this is where Iryo is at the moment, said Gorini, who also justified this price increase in "still very high" costs, while sending a message to Adif: "The lowering of fees in Italy was very positive because it meant an increase in services".

In his opinion, the difference with other operators - the CEO did not want to mention Ouigo during his speech - is based on the "quality" of its service, where 90% of passengers who travel with Iryo "repeat". "We are not inventing anything, but quality makes the difference, we want to make high-speed trains the backbone of sustainable mobility," Gorini said.

On the criticism of the minister of transport, Óscar Puente, to Ouigo for dumping prices and selling at a loss, dragging Renfe down to "bad results", the CEO of Iryo assured "there is room for everyone". He reminded that the offer of high-speed trains has increased by 45% and that each type of passenger will adapt to the train, price and offer that best suits them.

Leader in "door-to-door" sector

Iryo presented the second phase of its Conecta plan, its multimodality brand with which it wants to become a leader in the "door-to-door" passenger transport sector. The railway operator has reached agreements with airlines (Air Europa), buses, trains, ships and taxis to make the user experience "much easier", said the company's commercial director, Christian Ley.

The company, which already serves 11 destinations in Spain and has just reached 10 million passengers in a year and a half of operation (its first service was in November 2022), proposes a "long-term" strategy in which it becomes the backbone of a sustainable mobility system.

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