Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Italians of Trenitalia break the monopoly of the high speed of the SNCF

Written by Gérard Tur on Tuesday, December 14th 2021 à 17:00 | Read 590 times

ITALY/FRANCE. From 18 December 2021, the Paris-Lyon high-speed line will no longer be used exclusively by high-speed trains. The Italian public operator Trenitalia has opened a breach in the SNCF monopoly by offering Paris-Lyon-Chambéry-Modane-Turin-Milan tickets from Monday 13 December.

Initially, Trenitalia is only offering two return trips per day on its red arrows (Frecciarossa), but the frequency should increase very quickly. Paris-Lyon is SNCF's most profitable line, with 24 TGVs per day. Trenitalia claims that its high-speed trains are the fastest and quietest in Europe.

Trenitalia is familiar with the French market, having operated two night train lines there until June 2021 through its subsidiary Thello, which has since become Trenitalia France. The Marseille-Nice-Milan and Paris-Milan-Venice services did not survive the Covid pandemic or the Italian company's refocusing on high speed.

Trenitalia will also compete with SNCF and the local operator Renfe in Spain from the end of 2022 on high speed. To this end, it has entered into a partnership with Air Nostrum which has led to the creation of the company Iryo. Iryo's red arrows will initially remain in Spain to operate the Madrid-Barcelona route, followed by Madrid-Valencia-Alicante and Madrid-Seville-Malaga.

Trenitalia is a subsidiary of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane group, a holding company owned by the Italian government, whose transport branch's turnover was €5 billion in 2020 (-50% compared to 2019). 

A red arrow to try to compete with the TGV. Photo Trenitalia.
Trenitalia opens a Paris-Lyon-Milan line on Saturday 18 December.
Trenitalia opens a Paris-Lyon-Milan line on Saturday 18 December.

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