The Deutsche Bahn (DB) gets in long-distance traffic another competitor. The company Rheinjet from Meerbusch near Düsseldorf wants to offer a train connection between Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt from 8 November. A train is to approach the three cities every two weeks on Friday, one after the other, said Rheinjet CEO Martin Michael. The company works together with external operators. The times are registered and already approved. For about a week customers can book the trips. Depending on demand, the offer should be extended in the future.
So far, Flixtrain - an offshoot of the long-distance bus company Flixmobility - was the only competitor in the long-distance transport market, which is almost completely dominated by Deutsche Bahn with a market share of around 99 percent.
"We're mainly looking for commuters who work in a city around the week and want to go home over the weekend," Michael said. Because of the different traffic there is no direct competition with the train. Offers such as that of Rheinjet fall under the so-called occasional traffic.
Michael criticized the harsh conditions for selling and selling his own tickets, because customers usually only looked for trains in long-distance bookings. The award of the routes is also made via a subsidiary of the railway and is therefore not neutral. Rheinjet has so far mainly brokered private charter flights.
"The path allocation procedure follows transparent rules"
The train reacts calmly to the new provider. "Competition revives the business," said a spokeswoman. "We as DB have also been improved by the competition." The charge, the train path is not neutral, dismissed the company. "The route allocation procedure is closely monitored by the responsible federal authority, the Federal Network Agency, and follows clear, transparent rules," said the spokeswoman.
The Group announced that the new Roadmap for 2020 will be in place, which will come into force from December this year. A total of 72,000 new train applications have been submitted. Just under 5,000 of these were long-distance registrations, of which some 400 were received from external railway undertakings which did not belong to the DB Group. This is twice as many external applications as in the previous year, said the spokeswoman.