Ouigo, Avlo and Lumo: These cheap European train companies are competing with budget airlines

Plenty of eco-conscious travellers feel the pangs of flight shame – but still struggle to resist ultra-cheap flights.

According to a 2021 study by UK consumer group Which?, trains emit six times fewer emissions than planes on popular routes but are 49 per cent more expensive.

This pricing edge – sustained by billions of euros in government subsidies – keeps planes in the sky.

But the tide is turning. Across Europe, low-cost train companies are opening new routes. And it’s just in time, with the French government having banned short-haul flights in 2022 – making low-cost trains all the more necessary.

Like budget airlines, they offer cheap, no-frills fares. Unlike budget airlines, they

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