After six years of operating the low-cost trains IZY, Thalys will stop the service as of 10 July. The cheaper, albeit slower, option from the French-Belgian high speed train operator will no longer be available between Brussels and Paris.
The concept has certainly proven itself in the past, but we have decided to integrate all the connections between Brussels and Paris into the Thalys offer.Matthias Baertsoen, Thalys spokesperson
The IZY service has already been reduced over the past few months, while the trains themselves were sometimes the representative red Thalys ones, not the white and green ones specific for IZY. Some have even been taking the high-speed route. However, spokesperson for the company Matthias Baertsoen told VRT news that, “for reasons of clarity”, they want to have all the journeys under the Thalys brand from 10 July onwards.
Customers will now be able to use all facilities offered by Thalys and they will also be able to rebook or cancel more easily. Additionally, we guarantee a shorter journey time, as all trains will now run on the fast track.Matthias Baertsoen, Thalys spokesperson
Ever since the service was introduced, millions of passengers have used the IZY trains, with 1.2 million travellers just in the first three years. Most of the voyagers who choose to use th low-cost version are leisure travellers, students and generally young people, as opposed to Thalys who mainly targets business travellers.
Prices can start from as little as €10 and now that the service will be discontinued, the question remains of whether train travel will still be affordable to everyone. Thalys ensures they will introduce special fares for young people to not lose them as customers.
While all trains will now be able to use the fast tracks, taking just 1 hr 22 min to reach Paris from Brussels, instead of the 2h 42 min it takes IZY to make the same journey on the usual tracks, people under 26 years old will be able to book tickets starting at €24. Thalys also highlights that the number of available discounted tickets has also been increased to cover the soon increasing demand.