All images: Max Bögl


Lumo’s low-cost rail launch to challenge domestic flights

Lumo’s launch of low-cost rail services could disrupt current rail and air services between London and Edinburgh, according to GlobalData.

The Lumo low-cost model alongside a focus on minimising environmental impact will bode well for shifting traveller trends as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

Lumo’s low-cost rail service could become popular. British travellers have become accustomed to high fares and low-quality services that, pre-Covid-19, were often overcrowded. The launch of the new budget operator’s route between Edinburgh and London is set to be a disruptive force.

In the UK, there is a lack of competition amongst rail operators and Lumo is set to disrupt due to its low fares. Even though it is low-cost, the service features free Wi-Fi and on-demand entertainment – available to all. With journey times only 10 minutes longer than the incumbent operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER), Lumo is well-positioned to make gains in the competitive marketplace.

SkedGo CEO John Nuutinen. Credit: Skedgo

MOTIONTAG managing director Fabien Sauthier. Credit: MOTIONTAG

Low fares could stimulate demand

A GlobalData poll has revealed that 11% of global respondents now have a lower holiday budget than pre-Covid-19, and 37% cannot afford to go on holiday in the near future – so the new low-cost service will be welcomed.

The introduction of a low-cost rail service will bode well for cash-strapped travellers. While domestic demand soars in the UK, low fares will be vital to respond to the financial bite from the pandemic, which has resulted in the tightening of household and travel budgets.

Similarly, the findings of another GlobalData survey revealed that 62% of UK respondents were ‘extremely’, ‘slightly’, or ‘quite’ concerned about their personal financial situation further reinforcing the need for lower-cost rail services.

Lumo’s competitive £15 one-way lowest fare option could stimulate travel demand between London and Edinburgh. The low fares are set to be cheaper than a low-cost flight and could place competitive pressure on easyJet and, to some extent, British Airways.

Price is key to attracting custom during the Covid-19 recovery stage, and Lumo has the right business model for success.

mobility as a service railways

Credit: SkedGo | MOTIONTAG

Environmental concerns are swaying purchasing decisions

Travellers are increasingly likely to be influenced by how environmentally friendly a product or service is. According to GlobalData, 70% of UK travellers are ‘always’, ‘often’, or ‘sometimes’ influenced by this factor.

Lumo’s focus on being an environmentally friendly operation future-proofs its business model. Travellers who would often fly between the two cities are likely to be swayed towards a more environmentally friendly and cheaper option.

Opting to travel on Lumo’s fully electric trains over flying will reduce the carbon emissions of the trip to one-sixth of flying, according to the operator.

Further reaffirming its environmental focus, half of the onboard menu will comprise plant-based food and ticketing is 100% digital, helping to reduce paper waste. With environmental concerns set to grow, the move could see Lumo becoming a leading environmentally conscious rail operator.

Main image: The future looks bright for night trains. Credit: Shutterstock

All images: Max Bögl