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Spain: CNMC approves new private AVE, putting end to Renfe’s monopoly

 |  June 19, 2018

Spain’s National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) has given a final boost to the private AVE train that aims to break the monopoly held by national railway operator Renfe by providing daily connections between Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona. The agency approved the project presented by Intermodalidad de Levante SA (Ilsa) to compete with the state company within the Spanish portion of the Madrid-Montpellier route.

The company plans to run four daily commutes between the cities of Madrid and Montpellier in its business model. However, the connection will have intermediate stops in Spanish cities such as Zaragoza or Barcelona, ​​which makes this service compete directly with the Renfe AVE. The company intends to launch the service on October 5 after receiving the agency’s full approval.

The CNMC’s resolution effectively launched the process for the liberalization of passenger transport by rail in Spain. The European Commission has marked 2020 as the deadline for opening the sector to competition, having already warned Spain over existing restrictions. The success of Ilsa has motivated other companies to seek their own plans for operating a route within Spain, as with the German operator Deutsche Bahn, which has applied for permits to operate a similar route between La Coruña and Oporto.
Full Content: El Mundo

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