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TRAIN TRAVEL

New low-cost train in Spain: Alicante-Madrid service to be launched in autumn 2022

Ouigo will launch new high-speed routes between Madrid and the eastern Spanish cities of Valencia and Alicante in 2022, with one-way tickets going for as little as €9. 

ouigo alicante
The French rail company also plans to launch a Madrid-Valencia route this spring, with several daily services in each direction. Photo: Ouigo/SNCF

The liberalisation of Spain’s rail service continues, less than a year since the first train not operated by state rail provider Renfe came into operation. 

This time it’s Ouigo, a subsidiary of France’s SNCF, which has announced a new low-cost route between the Spanish capital of Madrid and the Valencian city of Alicante. 

The service, which will begin this autumn without a confirmed start date yet, will offer two daily services in each direction, including a stop in the Castilla-La Mancha city of Albacete.

One-way ticket prices will start at €9 and the duration of the journey will be approximately two hours and a half.  

Ouigo trains have two floors and seat for 509 passengers. 

Ouigo began operating in Spain in 2021 with another two-and-a-half hour service between Madrid and Barcelona that also stops in Zaragoza and Tarragona. 

IN IMAGES: The new high-speed Madrid to Barcelona train that costs just €9

The French rail company also plans to launch a Madrid-Valencia route this spring, with several daily services in each direction. By 2023, there are hopes that there will be new Ouigo routes connecting the Spanish capital with the southern Andalusia region. 

Avlo, the new low-cost subsidiary of Spain’s public rail provider Renfe and a direct competitor of Ouigo, will launch a new high-speed train route between Madrid and Valencia even sooner on February 21st 2022, with tickets going for as little as €7.

Ouigo has so far sold one-way tickets for €9 at the lowest. Children under the age of 14 enjoy a flat fee of €5, as long as an adult ticket is also purchased (maximum of two discount child tickets per adult). 

Most tickets on both Avlo and Ouigo are not available for the minimum price, and yet are still considerably cheaper than tickets for high-speed services on sale on the – until recently – only official rail company in Spain: Renfe.

Ouigo has had a successful start since it’s first train left the station in May 2021, with 1.4 million passengers so far. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Cabin crew staff to extend Spain strike by 12 days

A cabin crew strike at EasyJet and Ryanair saw 15 flights to and from Spain cancelled and 175 others delayed Saturday, as staff at the Irish airline announced 12 more days of stoppages.

Cabin crew staff to extend Spain strike by 12 days

The strike at the two low-cost airlines over pay and working conditions began as European schools started breaking up for the summer, creating headaches for both holidaymakers and the aviation sector.

By 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) on Saturday, 10 Ryanair and five EasyJet flights had been cancelled and 175 flights delayed, of which 123 Ryanair and 52 EasyJet, unions said in a statement.

The series of rolling strikes by Ryanair cabin crew in Spain — where there are some 1,900 employees –began on June 24, with EasyJet staff joining on Friday.

READ ALSO: Ryanair strike in Spain: 54 flights cancelled and 300 delayed on Thursday

Ryanair’s USO union rep said the new stoppages would take place in three four-day stretches: July 12 to 15, July 18 to 21, and July 25 to 28 at the 10 Spanish airports where Ryanair operates.

“After six days of strike and in view of the unwillingness of the company to listen to its staff and its preference for leaving thousands of passengers grounded rather than sitting down to negotiate an agreement under Spanish law, we have been forced to call new strike days,” said USO’s Lidia Arasanz.

She said the initial strike, which consisted of two three-day stretches, had seen “more than 200 flights cancelled and almost 1,000 delays”, with the upcoming stoppages likely to create similar levels of disruption.

EasyJet crew have pledged to strike during the first three weekends of July to demand parity in working conditions in line with other European airlines.

The strikes are a headache for the aviation sector, which has struggled to recruit people after massive layoffs during the Covid pandemic.

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