This Wednesday, June 23, Renfe has launched AVLO, its high-speed train service at cheap prices. The beginning of its operation is limited only to round trips in the corridor that connects Madrid with Barcelona, although it is most likely that it will be extended to other points in the near future.
AVLO tickets will start at prices of 7 euros per journey (two euros less than initially planned), although the inclusion of certain extras will make it more expensive.
At first, this low cost AVE was going to be released on April 6, 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic forced its delay until June 23.
Below we compile all the details about the service: Where to buy the tickets, what rates it has, the supplements and surcharges that apply, the routes it covers, the services it has and the models of the trains that make up its fleet.
Start of the
AVLO service started operating this June 23, 2021, after the delay caused by the pandemic. Renfe will currently compete with Ouigo, which already premiered in May. The Italian Ilsa would still be missing.
Renfe has reported that it will allow you to buy tickets to travel between Madrid and Barcelona for a minimum price of 7 euros, two euros less than the 9 originally proposed. The maximum of the ticket, with the extras included, will be 65 euros.
Childrenchildren under 14 years of age will have a basic fare of 5 euros , provided that it is accompanied by the issuance of an adult ticket (with a maximum of two child tickets per adult). There are also discounts planned for large families, 20% for those in the general category , and 50% for large families in the special category
Renfe trusts that the new service will achieve one million passengers a year in the first two years. According to the president of the company, Isaias Taboas, these passengers will be stolen mainly from those who currently travel by car and from groups that do not take the AVE for a price issue, such as families or young people.
With supplements and without punctuality commitment
However, supplements are added to the basic fare depending on whether the traveler wants to add different benefits to their journey , such as transporting a second suitcase or choosing a seat.
Renfe adds new supplements and surcharges to the AVLO ticket . Among them are the transport of pets, the combined ticket with Cercanias and Wi-Fi connection.
Likewise, the new low cost AVE does not have one of the main characteristics of Renfe’s conventional AVE, that of the voluntary commitment to punctuality.
By virtue of this commitment, the company returns half the amount of the ticket to passengers in the event that the train arrives at its destination with a delay of more than fifteen minutes “in any circumstance, including delays or incidents caused by force majeure “, and the full amount if the delay exceeds half an hour.
However, Renfe assures that the low-cost Madrid-Barcelona AVE will have the same speed and the same travel times as the conventional one. Specifically, the direct trip between the two cities will be two and a half hours, and two hours and 45 minutes in the case of stopping in Zaragoza.
In its debut, AVLO only covers the Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona high-speed route, considered the corridor that currently moves more travelers in Spain.
The public railway company will begin to operate it with four trains in each direction between Madrid and Barcelona.
For the time being, these four frequencies will leave the Atocha station every day at 06:20, 13:00, 18:00 and 19:30. Departures from Barcelona Sants have been set at 09:25, 10:00, 17:25 and 23:55.
The trains will also stop at Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lerida, Tarragona, Gerona and Figueras , the latter with only one daily train at the moment
For the future, Renfe’s intention is to expand AVLO to other destinations in its network. It has been confirmed that the Madrid-Cordoba-Seville lineIt will have the low cost in a second implementation phase.
The rest of the routes, such as those ending in Malaga or Alicante, will be incorporated gradually.
The trains and services that
the Talgo 112 have are in charge of carrying out the AVLO service at first. These trains, popularly known as Patos, will have 438 seats in total, 20% more capacity than a normal AVE. In the future, the 106 series will be incorporated , which will have up to 581 seats per convoy.
Other peculiarities of the AVLO are that they will not have business class (all travelers will go in economy) and they will not have a cafeteria car (they will only have vending machines).
As a differentiating element, the floor of the train has purple and gray colors and light blue posters with the AVLO brand on the doors. Your seats will be clear
. The cars have a plug and Wi-Fi internet connection. All this using electricity from 100% renewables.
Who is going to manage it
Logically, Renfe is in charge of its management, although it will do so independently of the conventional AVE service that it has been providing since 1992 and that will be maintained in parallel with the same services and benefits.
The public railway company trusts that this modality of cheap trains will generate 20% of its total income in a horizon of ten years.