A snack is served at the Business Première seat on the Paris-Lyon TGV line. (c) Stéphane Jaladis The
Paris-Lyon TGV line is the SNCF’s historic route and is still the focus of the rail carrier’s attention. At the heart of its traffic and above all the income of the SNCF Voyages branch, it now accounts for 24 daily return TGV services (including two OUIGO services), compared with 13 when the line was inaugurated by President François Mitterrand in September 1981. One billion passengers have been carried on the line in 40 years.
However, the expected arrival of a challenger following the opening up to competition, in this case Trenitalia by the end of 2021, is a threat that the SNCF has been preparing for for years. ” Our ambition is to remain at the forefront of innovation and sustainability in order to win over more and more customers
,” insisted Christophe Fanichet, CEO of SNCF Voyageurs, at yesterday’s presentation of the project called “Riposte”. A reinforced service offer is being put in place on the Paris-Lyon line in general and for business customers in particular, who account for over a third of traffic. If its impact is positive, it will then be deployed on the other Inoui TGV routes where Business Première is present. Marseille, Bordeaux and Strasbourg are among those mentioned.
A new Grand Voyageur lounge at Paris-Lyon station
Complete with exclusive services, the journey of the Pro passenger can begin at Paris-Lyon station in the new Grand Voyageurs lounge, which is now located at the entrance to the fresco room, between the two halls. Welcomed by a dedicated host, a space is reserved in the afternoon for Business 1st customers who wish to work before their train, have a drink or consult newspapers freely. They then have rapid access to a queue to pass through the controls and reach the platform, where an agent welcomes them in front of the Business Première carriage.
Gone is the little trolley with its welcome drink on the platform
The big novelty is that on board, instead of the trolley, passengers are served a snack adapted to the time of travel, with a small meal in the morning and at lunchtime, and a drink and a snack such as crisps, crackers or cashew nuts in the evening. The latter benefits from new dishes prepared by chefs Alexia Duchêne and Nina Métayer, which are now offered at the bar on all Inoui TGVs. ” This catering offer included in the price of the ticket is a strong element of differentiation
“, considers Jean Rouche, director of the TGV Sud-est axis at the SNCF. <img src=”https://www.voyages-d-affaires.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/sncf-riposte-business-1ere.jpg” alt=”(c) Stéphane Jaladis” width=”700″ height=”525″ />(c) Stéphane Jaladis
Tested last June, this service generated good feedback from Business 1ère customers who served as “guinea pigs
” They were pleasantly surprised by the increase in standard, which is close to that of air travel“, says Alain Krakoitch, Director of Voyages SNCF. He added: ” The offer proposed, with the equivalent of three classes of travel, is now similar to what we already do in our international subsidiaries, Thalys, Lyria and Eurostar. There is a certain consistency
During the journey, the TGV Inoui wifi portal allows passengers to consult the press and multimedia content, book a taxi or VTC on arrival, and order additional catering. ” The passenger can continue to work, as he or she does not have to go to the bar and queue, as the meal is delivered by the Business Première host in his or her place
,” explains Jean Rouche. Another new feature of the portal is that passengers can contact the flight attendant directly, if necessary.
Lyon passengers discover the comfort of the Atlantique trains
now and the beginning of 2022, the Paris-Lyon route will benefit from the progressive introduction of 17 new or renovated trains. The new trains have more capacity, with 556 seats, compared with 510 previously, thanks to the elimination of almost half of the square spaces in 2nd and 1st class. This redesign has made it possible to add 4 disabled seats in 1st class. Business passengers travelling in 1st class or Business 1st will not be disoriented, as they will find the same comfortable and well-equipped seats on board as those offered since 2017 on the TGV Atlantique service. Passengers in second class have not been forgotten either, as they will benefit from a brighter atmosphere and the addition of a USB port and a reading light.
The fare is €142 one way in Business Première, €78 in 1ère classique for Pro passengers with a Liberté card (€56 in 2ème) and a maximum of €59 in 2ème with the Avantage card. It also comes to €343 per month with the annual Telework package
, or €17 if the passenger makes 250 journeys per year. ”
Travelling at the Business Première fare provides maximum flexibility by allowing passengers to reposition themselves on any train even if it is full
,” says Alain Krakovitch.
The SNCF is calm in the face of the announced arrival of Trenitalia
The director of Voyages SNCF is not worried about the opening up to competition marked by the planned arrival of Trenitalia on its most profitable route. His Italian counterpart is reportedly embarking on the adventure with five daily Paris-Lyon-Milan round trips on his high-speed train Frecciarossa, the “red arrow”. ” We believe that this will increase the pie. More customers will take the train,” he says. And to highlight the 30% increase in TGV traffic generated by Ouigo since its creation. Not to mention the example of Spain, where the SNCF has stepped on the toes of the Renfe with its low-cost Ouigo offer on the Madrid-Barcelona route since last May. ” Overall traffic has increased by 17% on this route, where SNCF already has a 37% market share, in just a few months“, concludes the director. For the moment, Trenitalia has not communicated the opening date of its service, nor has it started marketing its tickets.
I’m Michelle, and I love to travel. As a former hotel expert for one of the world’s largest hotel chains, I’ve stayed in nearly every type of room imaginable (including many that were not so desirable!). Nowadays, I am fortunate enough to be able to explore the world on my own terms. From international flights to learning different languages, there is nothing too far out of reach!