Renfe, the national railway company of Spain, has revealed that its latest high-speed Avlo train will commence its services connecting Madrid and Alicante starting from March 27th.
The Avlo train service will operate four daily trips, with two trips offered in each direction, connecting Madrid and Alicante. Each day, there will be a total of 1,436 seats available for passengers.
The four services will have a scheduled stop in Albacete, and two of the trains (one in each direction) will also make additional stops at the Cuenca-Fernando Zobel and the Villena Alta Velocidad station in Alicante.
The new service may be a couple of weeks away from launching, but passengers are already able to buy tickets for the low-cost route, with prices starting at just 7 euros.
Customers will also have the option to add extra services to their base ticket price, such as seat selection, changes or cancellations plus additional luggage.
The basic ticket price includes a cabin suitcase and a handbag, which are both free of charge.
For children under the age of 14, a basic ticket is available at a discounted price of 5 euros, when purchased together with an adult ticket. A maximum of two discounted child tickets can be purchased with each adult ticket.
Large families or "familias numerosas" will also be able to get a 20 percent discount on the ticket price, and those who qualify for special circumstances can get a 50 percent discount.
Two other budget-friendly rail operators are also expected to introduce the same route short.
Starting June 2nd, 2023, Iryo, a recently established low-cost train operator, will begin operating its Madrid-Alicante service and will provide the same number of daily trips as the Avlo train.
Ouigo, another new train operator in Spain, will also initiate its Madrid-Alicante route via Albacete a month earlier, in May 2023. Advanced tickets for passengers are available, starting from as low as 9 euros, but the price will rise to approximately 30 euros for last-minute purchases.
Avlo expands its network as Spain's railway revolution gains momentum
Renfe is also set to introduce new Avlo train services in June, connecting Madrid with Seville and Málaga in southern Spain. These services will also make stops at Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Córdoba, Puente Genil, and Antequera.
Although the schedules have yet to be confirmed, it is expected that there will be two trains traveling in each direction to Seville and Málaga respectively.
The Spanish rail network has experienced a surge in low-cost services in recent years, with companies such as Iryo and Ouigo competing with Renfe by offering more affordable prices.
In response to this competition, Renfe created its own low-cost brand, Avlo.
In May 2021, Ouigo became the first non-Renfe company to operate trains in Spain.
ILSA, a consortium that includes Spanish airline Air Nostrum and Italy's main train operator Trenitalia, launched Iryo in November 2022. The service currently offers routes between Madrid-Zaragoza and Barcelona, as well as Madrid-Cuenca and Valencia.
Iryo intends to expand its offerings by connecting Madrid with the southern Andalusian cities of Córdoba, Málaga, and Seville, within the next month.
Image Credit: Avlo Renfe