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SNCF – After numerous criticisms of passengers who complained about the increase in train ticket prices, SNCF Voyageur CEO Christophe Fanichet JDD This Sunday, May 29, “that prices [avaient] slightly increased this year compared to 2021 ”.
According to INSEE, Christophe Fanichet questions the Covid-19 crisis to justify a 12.7% rise in prices in April. “Few trains ran last year, due to the health situation and therefore a large number of vacancies,” and therefore lower prices, “he explains.
SNCF prefers to compare prices from 2022 with prices from 2019, which was the last year before the health crisis and where traffic can be considered normal. A favorable comparison for a public company, as “long-distance travel prices have fallen by 7% compared to 2019,” notes SNCF Voyages CEO.
More people equals more expensive tickets
″[Les prix] remained stable for daily trains because no region increased fares. In addition, one in four TGV tickets benefits from price caps – from € 39 to € 79, depending on the distance traveled – thanks to the Avantage card purchased by 3 million people, ”he adds.
The same arguments were made on Tuesday, May 24, by SNCF Group CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou. “INSEE makes a comparison between trains in 2022 and trains in 2021. In 2021, there were far fewer people on the trains and the share of reduced prices was higher, which lowered the average,” he explained.
“In fact, prices have not increased in scale,” he said. But as there are more people this year, there are more people who use prices that are in the range of slightly higher, leading to an increase in the observed average price.
Price growth risk in 2023
“There is always a policy of moderate pricing. (…) Our strategy is really a low-volume volumetric strategy to make the train accessible to all, ”he insisted on the development of low-cost Ouigo connections and the generalization of discount cards.
On the other hand, he warned: “I don’t know if we will be able to maintain this policy of stabilized prices for much longer because our costs are rising.” “Energy costs are rising, we may have wages rising, the price of materials is rising, the price of labor is rising, the cost of railways is rising …”, he noted.
“It is too early to say whether, after 2022, we will still be able to maintain this policy of very modest prices over time. We may be forced to pass on part of the costs from 2023, “said the head of the SNCF. “But we’re not there yet, we’ll see how things turn out!”
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