Deutsche Bahn wants to attract more business customers and is temporarily reducing the price of a first-class BahnCard Business to EUR 49.90 instead of the previous EUR 134.

The offer is valid until December 10, said Stefanie Berk, Marketing Director at DB Fernverkehr, on Monday in Berlin.

The Bahncard is valid for one year from the time of purchase and makes long-distance travel cheaper by 25 percent in both first and second class.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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There are currently 150,000 Bahn Business customers.

Behind this are employees from around 35,000 companies that take part in the business customer program.

With around 45 million people in employment in Germany, Deutsche Bahn believes that there is still room for improvement in this area.

Much more frequently, users buy their Bahncard themselves: Around five million people in Germany have such a discount card, which reduces the cost of the tickets by 25, 50 or even 100 percent.

Expensive tickets, late trains

The offer with the whimsical title “Betriebsklima Bahncard” as a reference to the particularly environmentally friendly image of rail transport comes just a week after the group announced that it would increase its long-distance transport prices by around 5 percent for the new timetable at the beginning of December.

The state-owned company will even increase the train-independent "flex tariffs", which are particularly popular with business customers, by an average of 6.9 percent - and this in a phase in which late trains are particularly common on customers' nerves.

In the summer, the railways did not even manage to get to their destination on time in 60 percent of the cases.

In such an environment, Deutsche Bahn has raised ticket prices.

The reason for this is the sharp rise in costs, especially for electricity, which is putting a heavy strain on Deutsche Bahn, a particularly energy-intensive company in Germany.

However, the increases are still well below the current inflation rate, as the company emphasized last week.

Severe declines in the corona pandemic

The new offer can now be seen as an attempt to make up ground with a cheaper BahnCard.

During the corona pandemic, the railway had to contend with a severe drop in passengers.

The home office and the fear of infection kept many people from taking the train.

At the time, many expected companies to permanently reduce their employees' business trips.

There are several reasons for this: the desire to save time and money is just as important as the goal of emitting fewer greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate.

However, Deutsche Bahn boasts of being able to show an “unbeatable CO2 balance sheet”.

The emissions in the business customer program are 0 kilograms, because the trains in domestic German local and long-distance traffic only use green electricity.

Bahn manager Berk cannot confirm the trend of declining business trips for rail.

Business trips increased significantly again both in spring and now in autumn.

By the end of the year, Deutsche Bahn expects to return to around 90 percent of the pre-corona level.

The connections to and from the capital are particularly popular: Berlin-Munich is just as important as Berlin-Cologne/Bonn.