After six years, Thalys is discontinuing the low-cost IZY trains between Brussels and Paris from 10 July.
Millions of passengers have made use of IZY trains as a slower but cheaper alternative to high-speed Thalys trains. While Thalys mainly targeted business travellers, IZY was marketed towards leisure travellers who could book tickets for as little as €10.
"For reasons of clarity, we want to operate all journeys under the Thalys brand from 10 July," spokesperson Matthias Baertsoen told VRT. "Customers will now be able to use all facilities offered by Thalys and they will also be able to rebook or cancel more easily. Additionally, we guarantee a shorter journey time, as all trains will now run on the fast track."
In the first three years, IZY transported 1.2 million passengers, who spent 2.5 hours on the train on average – twice the journey time of a standard Thalys train. This is because IZY travelled on the regular train tracks, while Thalys operates on a different high-speed line.
Over the past few months, the IZY service had already been reduced and the journeys were mainly also being made with the traditional red Thalys trains, instead of the white-green IZY ones.
Thalys has said that it will offer more favourable fares to young people, who were an important target group for the cheaper IZY formula.