Dutch railway company NS has to downsize

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The Dutch railway company NS estimates that the number of train passengers will only return to the level before the corona crisis in 2025. Until then, the company expects a loss of 4.7 billion euros. Without government support, the NS cannot keep its head above water, says financial director Bert Groenewegen in the newspaper ‘NRC Handelsblad’.

According to Groenewegen, it is inevitable that the rail company will have to downsize. The starting point, however, is to allow this to happen without compulsory redundancies, but through natural wastage.

The NS wants to save 1.4 billion euros by 2025. “Production costs must be reduced,” says Groenewegen. “But while maintaining our performance and customer satisfaction. An imperative condition is also that tickets remain affordable. “From 2 June, the NS will again run largely according to the regular timetable with the maximum number of trains, but with only 40 to 50 percent of travelers.

Groenewegen states that the company will turn to the government for support in the short term. A plan for this is underway, he tells the newspaper, which should be ready by July.

According to Groenewegen, the fact that the Dutch Railways only expects to transport the number of passengers from before the crisis again in five years is due to the fact that commuter traffic will change. Companies are also gaining good experiences with working from home and higher education will also be working more remotely, he says. “In our forecast, we will still be 7 percent below the level of 2019 in 2024. We think that we will only reach 1.3 million travelers per day in the course of 2025, the number before the crisis.”



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https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20200522_04967893

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