This Thursday, the Círculo Ecuestre received Simone Gorini, CEO and General Manager of iryo, at its facilities, who led an interesting colloquium.

After the presentation, led by the president of the business club, Enrique Lacalle, the director of the first Spanish private High Speed operator, held a dialogue with Piergiorgio Sandri, Economy editor at La Vanguardia, who served as moderator of the event.

The journalist began the conversation by asking the speaker about the beginnings of the company. Simone Gorini explained that “iryo is the first Spanish private High Speed operator participated by the partners of Trenitalia, Air Nostrum and Globalvia”. According to the manager, “iryo began its commercial operations on November 25, 2022 between Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona, with 32 daily frequencies”, offering users “an innovative proposal in terms of product, based on quality, excellence and the best travel experience”, a differential fact that has allowed “a year and a half later, iryo to continue advancing with the firm purpose of positioning the train as a means at the service of sustainability and the decarbonization of transportation”. Likewise, Gorini added that “the company has managed to achieve the planned route map by connecting 11 destinations with each other: Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia, with 16 daily frequencies; Seville, Málaga and Córdoba, with up to 24; Alicante, with a stop in Albacete, with two frequencies during the weekends that increase to 4 daily in the summer, and Tarragona, with 4 daily frequencies also in summer".

Asked about the value proposition carried out by the company, the CEO and General Manager of iryo highlighted "early trains", "tailored fares to satisfy the wide variety of demands", the "'Singular Companies' program , which makes excellent ticket exchange options available to companies”; “the comfort and benefits offered by the cars”, or “a brand of local gastronomy that allows you to widely enjoy Spanish gastronomy on board”, as differentiating aspects.

Regarding the company's balance sheet after a year of operations in Spain, Gorini explained to the Círculo Ecuestre audience that “at the end of 2023, iryo had more than 6 million passengers transported, 16,851 operations carried out and 8,981,778 million kilometers traveled”. The manager also presented an “average occupancy rate in 2023 of 66%”, which in “Andalusia rose to 70%”. On the other hand, he proudly reported that “iryo has achieved more than 70% NPS (Net Promoter Score) – customer satisfaction” in its first year in the country. Based on data extracted by the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), he said that “iryo obtained between 25 and 30% market share in the last quarter of 2023 in practically all of its corridors, with the exception of Madrid- Alicante”. Finally, following the CNMC analysis, he explained that “31 million used high speed in 2023, 10 million more than in 2019” and that “alternative companies captured a total of 10.6 million passengers (26%), of of which iryo took 14.8%”.

After reviewing iryo's positive results, Piergiorgio Sandri wanted to know in detail the company's commitment to sustainable mobility. In this sense, the company spokesperson claimed that "iryo has the most sustainable fleet made up of 20 electric Frecciarossa trains made of 94% recyclable materials and 100% renewable energy supply in operations and central services". “They use regenerative braking to recover energy, returning up to 15% of the electricity drawn from the grid”, he added.

As a result of its strong environmental commitment, the speaker explained that “iryo has built the multimodality brand 'iryo Conecta', under which we want to place the train as the backbone of an integrated and sustainable mobility system, as well as promote collaboration between companies for the transportation of passengers by different means”. “In the first stage of this project, we have worked on four selected lines of activity: 'Conecta Avión' with the help of Air Europa, 'Conecta Taxi' with the help of Imbric, 'Conecta Coche' with the help of AVIS and ' Connect Cercanías'”. In addition, according to Gorini, “we have recently launched the “more destinations iryo-Conecta” solution on our website and app in order to facilitate the planning and purchase of different combinations of train, bus and plane to reach international destinations, cities coast and inland areas where High Speed does not yet do so.” “We are convinced that customer demands should push the sector to offer more options and better accessibility. Therefore, we continue to advance our objectives”, he added.

Asked about the challenges and business synergies that the Italian company poses for its immediate future, Simone Gorini highlighted that “iryo is focused on the three corridors and the eleven destinations in which it is already operating, but we want to continue growing and reach the greatest number of possible cities. With this commitment to permanence, we continue analyzing all strategic possibilities to expand our offer”. The manager predicted that "the second phase of liberalization will be the next challenge that we will face, in order to continue promoting the liberalization of High Speed in Spain and analyze other destinations such as Galicia and the Mediterranean Corridor", in addition to "continuing betting on multimodality through alliances with top-level companies”.

To conclude the interview, the journalist wanted to know the firm commitment to Catalonia made by iryo and to know what connections it has active today with the community. After remembering that iryo began its operations at the end of 2022 between Madrid-Zaragoza-Barcelona "with the firm objective of promoting the socioeconomic development of Catalonia, a strategic community for the industry and the services sector of this country", its commitment has gone further : “On June 15, 2023, we activated our connection with Tarragona in order to promote the area as a tourist destination”. After that, he recalled the company's most recent operation in Catalonia, which was based on "the inauguration, on December 10, of the first transversal route that connects two cities (Barcelona-Seville) without train changes in less than six hours". “We are the first operator to launch a connection of these characteristics that, with four frequencies seven days a week, offers 673,060 seats linking two of the main capitals of Spain, the epicenter of the business world”, concluded Simone Gorini.