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The meaning of «avlo»

Avlo (Spanish pronunciation: [aβ'lo], short for Alta Velocidad Low Cost literally "No Frills High Speed" ) is the name of a proposed Spanish low-cost high-speed rail service, at the start between of the cities of Madrid, Zaragoza and Barcelona by the national rail company Renfe. Plans for such a low-cost high speed service were reported in February 2018, with the goal of running by 2019.[1] However, it was held up and new sets of proposals for the service were announced on 11 December 2019, for starting in 6 April 2020.[2]

On the 15 March 2020 Renfe announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be postponing the launch of the service until further notice.[3] Customer who paid a promotional fare of five euro would be offered another journey at a later date, while other customers would be offered a full refund.

Based the popularity of the French low-cost high-speed rail service Ouigo that was introduced in 2013 by French national rail company SNCF, and keen to encourage train travel on the Spanish high-speed rail network. Renfe was interested setting up their own such budget service. Initially they created a working idea under the name of "eva", which is the name of the Renfe's own high-speed train service AVE, spelt backwards. The service was announced on 6 February 2018 by the then Minister of Public Works Íñigo de la Serna,[4] and was aimed to be operational by the first quarter of 2019. The plan was initially to travel between from Madrid to less popular AVE stations in the region of Catalonia namely Camp de Tarragona and El Prat de Llobregat (a suburb of Barcelona). This is like how Ouigo go smaller Tourcoing station instead of Lille-Europe.

A series of delays meant that Renfe went back to the drawing board, and with the prospect of new competitors including the airline Air Nostrum, the Italian rail company Trenitalia and SNCF with Ouigo coming into the market in late 2020 meant that Renfe had to put the idea back on.[5][6] So Renfe relaunched their low-cost high-speed service on the 11 December 2019, with the plan of launching during Holy Week 2020. Avlo was set to run between Madrid Atocha station, Zaragoza Delicias and Barcelona Sants stations.[7] A big difference is that instead of stopping in Tarragona, the service will stop at the city of Zaragoza.

The Avlo service would consists of modified purple-coloured Talgo AVE trains. They will use the future Service 106 train with 581 seats, or a Service 112 trains will be upgraded to 438 seats both in all-second class configuration.[8] Renfe has reported it is going to price tickets of the Avlo as low as €10, compared to the lowest offer of €48 for the normal AVE ticket for Madrid and Barcelona.[9]

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