Thursday, April 04, 2013

Ouigo low-cost TGV service off to a good start

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On board one of the first Ouigo high-speed services. On board one of the first Ouigo high-speed services. Arnaud Février pour Auditoire

FRENCH National Railways (SNCF) says it has already sold more than 200,000 tickets for its new low-cost TGV service called Ouigo which began operating on April 2. Ticket sales started on February 19 exclusively through a dedicated website.

Around 30,000 tickets were sold during the first 30 hours after the Ouigo website went live, and to date the site has been visited by 2.1 million people with more than 7.2 million page views.

SNCF says 80% of Ouigo passengers have paid less than €25 each for their tickets. Families are benefitting as 20% of seats on the trains are reserved for children under 12 years of age which only have to pay €5 each.

Ouigo has a simple philosophy: one class, one seat, one bag, to match the low-cost airlines. Similarly, passengers must arrive at the platform 30 minutes before departure to have their tickets checked and to ensure they have not exceeded the baggage allowance.

SNCF operates 62 Ouigo services a week from Marne la Vallée, to the east of Paris, to Lyon, Marseille and Montpellier.

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