Ouigo takes advantage of its "unmatched" rates despite criticism from Óscar Puente and the unions

MADRID, 9 Abr.

Ouigo takes advantage of its "unmatched" rates despite criticism from Óscar Puente and the unions


Ouigo has defended the "unmatched" rates it offers in the Spanish market, in the face of the continuous criticism it has received from the Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, who has also been joined by the unions, for the very low prices it offers. on their high-speed train trips.

Despite not having any specific announcement, the company has sent a statement to the press in which it only limits itself to presenting "the advantages of traveling on its high-speed trains", highlighting precisely the "unmatched" prices it offers.

The 100% French public capital company thus defends itself against criticism from Puente, which has accused the company of "dumping" and has expressed its fear that this low price policy initiated by Ouigo - also followed by the new rival Iryo (45% in the hands of Italian public capital)-- harms Renfe, whose capital is 100% Spanish public.

In fact, the Spanish operator has already suffered the first consequences of this tough competition and recorded losses again in 2023, with a gross operating result (Ebitda) similar to the previous year, despite reaching a record number of travelers, due to the drop in prices.

Furthermore, the president of Renfe, Raül Blanco, has already hinted that this situation will get worse and worse, since the new operators already have the concession to expand on new lines to the north of the country, such as recently the one from Ouigo to Valladolid. .

With all this, Ouigo continues to defend its fares, which start at 9 euros, at the same time that it does not give up what it considers an "exceptional onboard experience", with a bar on board all its trains.

Aside from the Government's complaints, the entry of competition has meant a boost in the mobility of Spanish citizens, who have been attracted by the low prices, thus allowing high-speed travelers to increase by up to 42% compared to 2019, when only Renfe operated, with the savings in polluting emissions that this represents compared to using the plane or car.

Another beneficiary has been Adif, the public company that manages the railway infrastructure, which in 2023 obtained the best result in its history, thanks to the 30% increase in income from the rates (fees) it charges to Renfe, Ouigo and Iryo, despite having them frozen for three years and after lowering them by 23% in 2019.

However, this situation requires an economic balance so that the low price that users pay does not end up being a 'mirage' and public companies such as Renfe and Adif need more resources from the taxes that those same users pay through other means. .

In this sense, Ouigo has already requested a reduction in fees, so if these rates are lowered and prices remain equally low, Renfe - which until now has not had to be subsidized to provide high-speed service - - could have to receive funds to cover these prices and Adif would also see its ability to invest in the network without more public resources hindered.