Price war breaks out between Spain´s train companies

Image of AVE trains in Barcelona.

Image of AVE trains in Barcelona. Credit: Markus Mainka /

A price war has broken out in Spain with the main train operators all competing to attract customers following the opening up of the industry.

Details provided by Expansión as reported by Preferente on Monday, February 6 the companies have been promoting their services aggressively resulting in prices falling and occupancies rising.

Despite the competition, all Renfe, Uigo and Iryo are all said to be satisfied that there is enough business for them all, even at the lower fares that have seen rates fall to as low as €9 on the Madrid-Barcelona line.

Avlo has adopted the most aggressive pricing strategy undercutting the others on most routes, whilst latecomer Iryo has yet to match the competition on pricing. The last company to enter the market Iryo is focusing mainly on the Madrid Barcelona and Madrid Valencia routes.

Experts spoken to suggest that the companies can sustain operations at current price levels and passenger volumes. Capacity is said to be around 32 million with trains operating up to 95 per cent during peak times.

As is to be expected the longest-running service Renfe´s AVE remains the market leader carrying a little over 55 per cent of the passengers.

The price war that has broken out between Spain´s train companies is great news for travellers at a time when all other costs are rising.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at