“We are off to a record summer”, according to Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of SNCF. The railway company has already sold eight million tickets for July and August, this is 10% more than in 2019, so we are seeing a very strong push”, said Mr. Farandou on France 2 Thursday June 23, specifying that the SNCF was going “put in place 500,000 additional places in the face of this success”.
“We are on our toes, we add oars, we make double compositions with two oars at the same time”he added, welcoming the mobilization of railway workers to ensure the departure on vacation of the French, whom he called on to take the train rather than their car by “citizen concern”. The trains are, according to Mr. Farandou, full on the days of the big departures but “there are places left” outside of these periods.
Various strike movements are currently agitating the SNCF, particularly in Ile-de-France with traffic disrupted by works which lead to last-minute changes to the schedules of drivers, denounced by the unions. Wage demands also came on top of the protests.
Asked about these movements, Mr. Farandou recognized a ” hard time “particularly in the Paris region for users and drivers, and let it be known that discussions with the social partners were “engaged” with “all options” on the table. “I try to practice a social dialogue of solution and construction and not too much a social dialogue of obstruction (…) which penalizes users and customers”he said, noting a social climate “a little tense but not only at the SNCF”in particular because of difficulties relating to purchasing power.
Regarding the increase in ticket prices for users, who face inflation, the CEO said that it would be “contradictory to want to develop traffic and to have high prices” and that, despite the increase in the price of electricity, the repercussion on the costs for the SNCF would not be “not too important” in 2022 through purchases made in advance. “For 2023, the question will arise”according to Mr. Farandou.
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