More hot transportation news from the Continent. This report is found on Dow Jones newswire.
MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Passenger numbers on the high-speed Madrid-Barcelona rail corridor increased 13% in the first half of the year, Spanish national rail company RENFE said Thursday.
In a press release, RENFE said 598,300 passengers used the high-speed service between Spain’s most important cities during the period, up from 528,700 a year earlier.
The rail link, that currently joins Madrid and Barcelona in four and a half hours, is a threat to the shuttle service Spanish airlines Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA (IBLA.MC) and Spanair operate between the two cities.
Currently, the air shuttle has the edge over the train, because it is faster and attracts the majority of business travelers that go back and forth between the two cities. However, RENFE expects to slash the travel time between Madrid and Barcelona to just two and a half hours.
Air carriers anticipate a drop in the number of passengers, but they will keep the same number of flights and use smaller aircraft. Sound familiar?