transportation industry

Airlines Turn to More Lucrative Trains

With trains gaining on air travel, some Swedish flight companies have been crossing over business lines to pursue rail-bound traffic instead. Sundsvallsflyg, an airline based in northern Sweden, for example, will begin trafficking the Sundsvall-Stockholm route by rail next year.

Such domestic air companies have lost upwards of a million companies since the beginning of the decade, TT reports.

Taking the train and flying takes about the same amount of time on trips of 400-500 kilometers, with airport transportation and security time kept in mind. Swedish Rail (SJ) has therefore had success enticing commuters on the Stockholm-Gothenburg and Stockholm-Malmö routes to take the train instead of going by air.

“But we are still way behind Europe’s quick [train] development, and especially that in Germany,” analyst Jean-Marie Skoglund told the news agency.

In parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, high-speed trains have more or less decimated domestic flight routes. The Eurostar train carries 70 percent of all passengers travelling between London and Paris, for instance, and a new high-speed train between Madrid and Barcelona has also been wildly successful.

But Sweden is unlikely to see a major investment in high-speed trains because of the enormous costs involved in building lines for a relatively small population base.

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