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Three new low-cost train services launch between Málaga and Madrid

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
Three new low-cost train services launch between Málaga and Madrid
Ouigo, Avlo and Iryo will all launch services between Madrid and Malaga. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP

The competition between low-cost train services in Spain is heating up as Ouigo, Avlo and Iryo all have new routes planned between Málaga and Madrid.

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Spain now has three low-cost rail services that are all battling it out to offer routes between some of Spain’s most popular destinations.

Iryo will be the first service to launch between Málaga and Madrid on March 31st. There will be up to 10 trains a day in each direction and they will also reach Córdoba. The journey will take just three hours.  

Renfe also plans to start its Avlo services in the southern corridor from June 2023, with trains that will link Madrid with Seville and Málaga and will stops at all the intermediate stations including Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Córdoba, Puente Genil and Antequera.  

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Ouigo’s Málaga service on the other hand won’t operate until much later, but it is thought it will do so in 2024.  

Avlo will also start its Madrid to Alicante service on March 27th with tickets starting at €7. It will offer four daily circulations (two in each direction) between Madrid and Alicante, with an offer of 1,436 seats per day.

READ ALSO: New low-cost Madrid to Alicante Avlo train launches on March 27th

This means that Renfe is currently ahead of its two competitors with this route.

Iryo isn’t scheduled to begin its Alicante service until June 2nd and will also include a stop in Albacete.

All three companies already operate Madrid-Barcelona and Madrid-Valencia routes.  

In the third quarter of 2022, Ouigo's share reached 29 percent of the high-speed corridor between Madrid and Barcelona. This figure is six points more than in the three previous months, according to data from the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC).  

Avlo meanwhile held a 14 percent share. It felt like Renfe’s high-speed AVE were losing its share of the market share, but ended up representing 57 percent of all the trips made between the capital and Barcelona in the third quarter of 2022.  

Iryo only launched this route in November 2022 and therefore there is still no data to compare. 

Ouigo is run by the French rail company SNCF and launched in May 2021, while Avlo, is Renfe’s low-cost service. It was initially due to begin in April 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic and ended up being delayed until June 2021.

And in November 2022 Iryo arrived, owned by the consortium formed by Air Nostrum, Trenitalia and Globalvía.

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