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How Italy's high-speed trains helped kill Alitalia

10/20/2021| 2:42:12 PM| 中文

Air travel dipped almost 7% in the three years to 2018, with just 19.5% of the market.

Over a decade ago, when Francesco Galietti had to travel from his native Rome to Milan for work, he used to fly the nearly 400-mile route. Today, he takes the train.

Galietti -- CEO of Rome-based political risk consultancy Policy Sonar -- is not alone. Figures released in 2019 by Italy state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato show that the number of passengers taking the train on the country's main business route, between Rome and Milan, has almost quadrupled in a decade, from 1 million in 2008 to 3.6 million by 2018.

Over two thirds of people traveling between the two cities now takes the train. It's a remarkable endorsement of Italy's high-speed rail network, which debuted in 2008.

Traveling those near-400 miles between Milan and Rome takes as little as 2 hours and 59 minutes. And, of course, the train stations are in the city center, and there's no need to turn up long before your train -- the doors close two minutes before departure.

Which leads you to wonder, as Italy's national airline prepares to shut down on October 15 -- did the high-speed railways kill Alitalia?

Galietti thinks so.

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TAGS: Ferrovie dello Stato |  high-speed train |  Trenitalia | Italo
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