RAIL TRAVEL IN SPAIN

€5 tickets for Spain’s new low-cost rail service to go on sale on Monday

The AVLO, which will cover the popular Madrid-Barcelona route, will begin operating in April, and will offer an average discount of 60% on the cost of the existing AVE train

Renfe’s new low-cost AVE train.
Renfe’s new low-cost AVE train.

Tickets for Spain’s new low-cost high-speed rail service, known as AVLO, will go on sale for as little as €5 a ticket on Monday. The cut-price offer from state operator Renfe will last for 10 days, with a thousand tickets available each day. That’s according to the transport and mobility minister, José Luis Ábalos, who was speaking at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid on Thursday.

Once the initial offer is over, the prices of AVLO tickets will range between €10 and €60 per journey

The tickets will cover the popular Madrid to Barcelona route, and will be available for travel between April 6 and August 31. Once the initial offer is over, the prices of AVLO tickets will range between €10 and €60 per journey, depending on the route required, demand and whether the tickets are bought in advance. Young travelers under the age of 14 who are accompanied by an adult will pay just €5 for their tickets.

Tickets will be available for purchase on the AVLO website.

The president of Renfe, Isaías Táboas, said at the Fitur fair that the company wanted to take advantage of the service to explore the possibilities for low-cost rail travel. Renfe is hoping that the venture will be profitable and that it will considerably increase its passenger numbers, given that it will compete with other forms of transport on the basis of price and journey time.

According to a press release from Renfe, each passenger will be able to travel at no extra cost with an item of hand luggage and a handbag. In the style of low-cost airlines, the AVLO will provide extra services at a cost in order to offer the most competitive basic prices possible.

In the style of low-cost airlines, the AVLO will provide extra services at a cost in order to offer the most competitive basic prices possible

The current price of the high-speed AVE train between Madrid and Barcelona in economy class, without promotions, is between €40.95 and €152, meaning AVLO is offering an average discount of 60%.

Renfe has rushed the new AVLO service to market before the liberalization of domestic rail markets in the European Union in December 2020, something that is attracting other major European operators to Spain.

AVLO will initially be offering just the service between Madrid and Barcelona, with a stop in Zaragoza. This is currently the Spanish route with the highest number of passengers, and the one that is in fiercest competition with air-travel options. There will be three services each way per day, although just two of these will stop at Zaragoza. Later in the year another service will be added, with a fifth due in September.

Renfe has said that it wants to roll out this low-cost train to the rest of the Spanish network.

English version by Simon Hunter.