RegioJet receives permission for first domestic lines in Poland, can only reach Baltic Sea from Prague
According to Polish authorities, competition would threaten the state carrier's revenues. RegioJet plans to challenge the decision in court.
It took up to 834 days for the Polish rail authority UTK (Urzad Transportu Kolejowego) to decide whether the Czech rail carrier could enter domestic lines in Poland. In the end, the regulator allowed only some of the lines the carrier wanted. RegioJet is therefore preparing a lawsuit.
It follows from the decision published on UTK website that RegioJet can operate trains from Krakow to Warsaw (twice a day) and from Prague to Gdynia (once a day). It also has permission to operate from Przemysl to Medyka and Mostyska at the Ukrainian border. On the other hand, UTK rejected applications for the Krakow–Warsaw–Gdynia and Wroclaw–Warsaw domestic services. RegioJet applied for a total of 25 pairs of connections, UTK granted only four. The decision-making time is also unusual: in Europe, such applications are normally dealt with within two months.
It is not yet clear when RegioJet will begin operation in Poland. “We are mainly concerned with the Krakov–Warsaw–Gdynia connection, which the authorities have not allowed,” said RegioJet owner Radim Jancura. RegioJet therefore wants to challenge the authority’s decision in court.
UTK refused the permit after an economic balance test. As follows from the decision, the competition permit would have a negative impact on the state-owned carrier PKP Intercity, which operates on the route. Poland is one of the countries where RegioJet is planning a major expansion.
At the same time, UTK has again authorized the operation of the Prague–Krakow route for Leo Express.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.