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Rewarding passengers to gain a competitive edge

26 September 2013  •  Author(s): Thomas Silbersky, Director of Sales and Marketing Division, SJ

Competition on the Swedish railway is on the rise as new players enter the market. While procured rail traffic was exposed to competition in the early 1990s, the deregulation of commercial domestic traffic first began in 2007 and was only fully deregulated in 2010. Since then, SJ’s competition has grown and major players such as MTR are currently applying for a service position. In an interview for European Railway Review, Thomas Silbersky, Director of SJ’s Sales and Marketing Division, discusses the advantages of SJ’s passenger loyalty programme in today’s increasingly competitive market.

“When the aviation, energy and telecom markets were deregulated in the 1990s, there was less customer activity in the energy market, but more in the telecom market, where a greater product and price differentiation was achieved,” comments Thomas. “However, the state-owned companies, Vattenfall (energy) and Telia (telecom), continue to be the largest players in their respective sectors. In the aviation market, which has greater similarities to our market, SAS was only exposed to serious competition in the 2000s; we are now seeing some greater differentiation there, with several players collectively challenging SAS, which adversely impacted the company and culmi – nated in a crisis in autumn 2012.”

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