The Czech Republic was one of the first European markets opening access to passenger rail competition. What are the challenges the main Czech rail operator is facing? We spoke to Zuzana Čechová, Pricing and Marketing Director at Czech Railways.
Despite being a land-locked country, the Czech Republic's capital, Prague, is an international rail hub for Western and Eastern-European countries, sharing its main rail domestic lines with the international ones.
Yet, passenger rail deregulation represents many challenges: infrastructure capacity, tariff integration, and pricing strategies. The main one for Czech Railways is sharing revenues. Followed by pricing strategies and the current competitive situation.
"Collaborating with other railways means making sure that the cars quality and pricing offer fit our customers' needs"
The rail pricing challenge
Agreeing on the best pricing strategy for international rail travel routes is not an easy task. Nor is creating new pricing strategies to fight against competitors or react in case of travel disruption.
Germany is the perfect example of fighting against competition with new pricing strategies. Air Berlin's bankruptcy left Lufthansa as the only airline operating German domestic routes. This led to increasing airfares due to the higher demand. In response, Deutsche Bahn lowered their prices: having a higher demand on their high-speed routes and becoming the perfect alternative to air and other transport modes.
"We try to apply our domestic market expertise to international rail."
Technology as an enabler for international rail
For Czech Railway's traveler, technology means having WIFI onboard, something that they are working on to provide on all their routes. For Czech Railways, technology means:
- Accessing new rail sales channels such as social media
- Having rail revenue management systems that help them increase their seat revenues
- Counting on new pricing technologies that help them win the battle for the customer
"Technology is not only enabling collaboration but also international rail demand overseas and in Asia."
Czech Railways believe that the airline expertise can bring a lot of knowledge to the rail industry. That's why partnering with Amadeus will help you to get the most out of every seat you sell. Learn more by visiting our Rail IT solutions website or watch now the interview with Czech Railways at the Amadeus Rail Forum!