The French TGV on the Paris-Lyon route will get a competitor soon. Trenitalia, the Italian national railway company, is expected to launch its high-speed Frecciarossa on the Paris-Lyon-Turin-Milan by the end of this year, according to the CEO Luigi Corradi. AFP revealed that the new service will start on December 18.
Once the Frecciarossa will launch its service, the French state railway operator SNCF will no longer have a monopoly on the high-speed connections in France. Fierce competition between the Italian and French railway companies is expected on the route between Paris and Lyon, which is now particularly profitable for SNCF.
In an attempt to offer a similar price to its French competitor, the italian company promised to sell its Standard class tickets at low prices. To differentiate its high-speed service from the French one, Trenitalia will target high-end travelers, offering a Business Class equipped with any possible comfort, and an Executive Class with only 10 spacious leather armchairs. Each seat will have an electrical outlet and high-speed WiFi connection will be free of charge for all passengers. Additionally, the Frecciarossa will feature a meeting room equipped with electrical outlets and a flat-screen, which will fit up to 5 people.
However, also SNCF is playing the card of comfort. In its TGVs to Lyon, the French company has deployed a new Premium class to satisfy its business customers, who account for 40% of the company’s total turnover. Besides the excellence of its Premium class, SNCF can also take advantage of the high rate of trips on the Paris-Lyon axis. On this route, the French company offers a train every hour, while Trenitalia will initially schedule only two round trips per day.