Low Cost Airline Abandons Popular Route After HSR Opens
Ryanair is one of Europe’s leading low-cost airlines, known for dirt cheap no-frills flights. It’s their version of Southwest except with even lower fares and less on-board services.
But they’ve just announced they are abandoning the Milan to Rome route – and the reason is high speed rail:
Ryanair will cease flying between Italy’s two most important cities with effect from the end of March, reports Swiss aviation website ch-aviation.ch.
It currently operates between Milan Orio al Serio and Rome Ciampino, but increasing pressure from two high-speed rail firms appears to have made the route commercially unviable.
Italy has seen significant improvement in high speed rail service since new tracks opened from Bologna to Florence in 2009, closing one of the main gaps on the peninsula and allowing fast service from Milan to Rome and points south.
This comes as no surprise at all to anyone who has seen HSR in practice around the world. Whether it’s Madrid-Barcelona, New York-DC, London-Paris, or any other popular pair of cities within about 400 miles of each other, high speed trains routinely grab a majority of the travel market from airlines. If you give people a choice on these short haul routes, they will choose HSR time and again.
And it will happen in California too, once service is up and running between Los Angeles and San Francisco.