EUROPE: Via its subsidiary Intermodalidad de Levante SA, airline Air Nostrum has applied to Spanish competition authority CNMC to operate a high speed open access service between Madrid and Montpellier in France from October 5 2018. Departures from Madrid would be at 07.45 and 15.30, with services leaving Montpellier at 07.00 and 15.30. The new open access services would also call at Zaragoza, Barcelona, Perpignan and Narbonne.

ILSA is proposing to operate the international service with Class 100 trainsets, supplied by Alstom for the opening of the Madrid — Sevilla high speed line in 1992 and whose current duties with RENFE include international services from Madrid to Toulouse, Lyon and Marseille. Serving a potential market of 5∙2 million passenger-journeys a year, according to ILSA the new service would open up ‘new possibilities’ for inter-regional rail services between the south of France, Catalunya, Aragón and Madrid. To meet CNMC criteria, at least 30% of traffic and turnover would have to be provided by international operations.