SNCB, OBB, DSB, DB, MAV-Start, CFF-SBB, CD, NS, CFR, Trenitalia, ZSSK and PKP railway sales department representatives met in Berlin from 11 – 13 February for the Sales Progress Group (SPG) plenary spring meeting. Four half-day sessions took place: NT (Night Trains), NRT (Non-Reservation Tariff), common session and finishing with IRT (Integrated Reservation Tariff).
During the Night Train session on the Tuesday afternoon, Agnes Oroz (MAV Start) presented UIC’s TopRail activity. She underlined the importance of this group to bolster sales and inspire customers.
Szuzsanna Selmeczi (NT Chairwoman) proposed to build a night train website in common with TopRail, to display the map and promote a joint marketing campaign. SNCB presented the new night train offer between Brussels and Vienna from 19 January 2020.
The next morning the NRT group session took place, chaired by Karl Winkler (ÖBB) and the common session chaired by Pawel Dydyszko (PKP). On 1 March, CFL is offering free train travel in second class and a flat rate of 3€ in first class. Most railways have already implemented these changes in their own sales systems. In Germany, the government reduced the VAT on train tickets from 1 January. Most railways reflect DB rail tickets. The UIC PRIFIS tool will adapt to reflect these price modifications. As usual, a lively discussion took place between participants on child tariffs, reduction cards and distribution a combination of several carriers in one train ticket.
David Hiscocke, Chairman of the UIC accounting group, reported on IRS 90301 and assessed impacts about VAT and nTM on settlements. It was announced by DB that the “RAILPLUS” trademark is extended until 2029. Clemens Gantert, chairman of the PSS group, informed the meeting that the nTM definition is now drafted as IRS 90918-10. This allows the combination of different fares of different carriers in a common JSON message model. Furthermore, to avoid overlapping and as requested by railways CEOs, the FSM technical protocol is aligned with nTM as a subset of nTM.
The replacement of PRIFIS by nTM is an important step forward and all carriers should implement the new format. Format converters are kindly proposed by UIC to all PRIFIS members to test their price data migration as soon as possible. The new PRIFIS database should be in production by December 2021. Finally, Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, presented the current and forthcoming UIC Passenger department activities.
On the last day, Jaroslav Luckay, IRT chairman (ZSSK), made several new proposals for a unified system for HERMES codes. He also looked into new needs for collaboration on loyalty programmes. Lyria presented their new offers on the Geneva-Paris Route and their ambition to be the first carrier on this route, with new duplex rolling stock, offering 30% more capacity and cheaper prices.
The next meeting will take place from 8 – 10 September 2020 in Slovakia.