Spain is the European country with the most extensive high-speed rail network. In January this year for the first time there where more passengers travelling with long distance than by air in Spain. This lead was further consolidated in February.
During the month of February, the number of travelers by rail over long distances increased by 14.3%, corresponding to 1,954,000 persons, compared with February last year.
Air traffic has since September 2011 moved steadily downwards, and sank during the first months by 4.2%, or 1,843,350 tickets sold, and thus reached their lowest level since 1999.
The lead for the train over air travel is related to the expansion of the AVE (Spanish high speed trains), where the trend is overwhelmingly in the cities associated with the new rapid rail network.
One of the distinct advantages of traveling by high-speed trains is that you avoid any waiting time at security and check in as many feel that time wasted on flights. Another issue is that you will travel from and arrive directly to the centre in the city of destination. In case Malaga-Madrid it is faster to travel by train than by plane if you add the time spent at the security checkpoint and then the time it takes to travel to get to and from the airports.
The airline Iberia CEO Luis Gallego has proposed to the company Renfe possibility of a partnership, where passengers will be able to buy tickets for the entire trip at once. “Let us make high-speed rail to one of our allies,” he says.
Renfe has not yet, at least officially, responded to the invitation. But Monday they presented a novelty to all concert goers. Rolling Stones is coming to Madrid on June 25th, and Renfe is inserting six additional trains to make it easier for fans to get home after the concert. The extra trains have no fixed departure time from Madrid, but will be waiting until the concert is over and destinations are Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, Zaragoza, Cordoba, Seville and Malaga.