Madrid hosted last week the Innotren conference to discuss the 2020 rail liberalization horizon and how innovation in rail travel will bring a more competitive advantage to the industry. We bring you the event's highlights.
Why DO we need a 4th rail package?
The conference started discussing why the 4th rail package is needed:
- To encourage innovation in the rail industry. According to the European Union, the package will bring travelers more travel options, thus, increase the international rail demand.
- To improve security. According to Spain's National Agency for Railway's security, security was always the excuse to limit new competitors entrance. The 4th package guarantees the security for both incumbents and new entrants.
To facilitate authorization processes. Right now it’s easier to authorize an airplane than a train.
Rail liberalization: looking at other countries and industries
Now that we are approaching 2020, it is common to look for best practice examples:
Are there some operational similarities with the airline industry? As we have seen with Trans Metropolitan at the Amadeus Rail Forum, airlines can run a more profitable business. For example, Madrid’s airport has 355 aircraft parking spaces and Madrid central station has only 15 platforms. Planes fly to many destinations in only one day, a train can only operate in a certain route or region.
Can we learn from other European countries? There are positive examples of rail liberalization we can all learn from, such as Italy or the Czech Republic. And the negative side of passenger rail deregulation, like in the UK, where a too complex license management has impacted the country's rail modernization and thus, increased the average rail ticket price.
European rail deregulation: THE REGULATOR VIEW
During the event, Spain's new rail operator Ilsa presented the 3 positive effects of passenger rail deregulation:
- Competition generates country's wealth
- Competition will drop rail ticket prices down
- Competition will increase the rail travel demand
Even national operators such as RENFE, find competition good. We just need to make sure we are all working together towards the same goal: making rail travel a more attractive option.
Amadeus tips to rock the rail horizon 2020
2020 European rail deregulation is just around the corner, no matter if you are a new entrant or a national railway, there are 3 tips you must follow to attract travelers to European rail travel:
- Having a customer-focused strategy is key to stand out from the competition. We understand that customers' needs are changing, and so is our adaptable technology.
- Collaboration between railways and airlines is important to improve the quality and services frequency. Success lies in using the right tools to bring the offer wherever the customer is.
- Integrating rail in the travel ecosystem, giving travelers the capability to book rail with other transport modes. This level of integration will help conquer the consumer.
The rail market has an uncovered potential. We are here to help you to connect with your travelers and position your rail offer. How prepared are you for 2020? Download now our whitepaper the Rail Journey to 2020.