Abellio, a subsidiary of the Dutch Railways, will leave North Rhine-Westphalia early next year. The transport company will lose all its concessions in the German state bordering the Netherlands from February 2022.
The NS subsidiary suffered major losses in Germany. Abellio therefore embarked on a major restructuring earlier this year, led by a court-appointed agent. This intervention was intended to prevent NS, as a shareholder, from having to support the subsidiary with millions of euros for years to come. Negotiations were therefore underway with clients in the four regions where the German branch of Abellio was active in order to reach new agreements. They had to make the service profitable again.
According to a spokesperson for NS, this was not possible in North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest German region for Abellio. The local transport authority therefore decided this week to award Abellio’s five concessions in the region as an emergency concession from 1 February. Abellio is excluded from this. The local public transport authorities promise that the 1080 affected Abellio employees can start working with a new employer.
Without restructuring, the NS subsidiary in Germany threatened to lose 30 million to 50 million euros annually, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra wrote in a letter to parliament last summer. This is partly due to increased personnel costs and fines that the company had to pay. The transport company received these fines because it was unable to meet performance agreements.
In other German regions, Abellio did manage to reach new agreements about the concessions. Some lines were divested and new financial agreements made activities on other rail connections profitable again, according to the rail company.
The departure from North Rhine-Westphalia helps the NS to stop Abellio’s losses, the spokesman acknowledges. “But it doesn’t feel satisfying. On the one hand, we had the intention to stay. On the other hand, we prevented the financial support from continuing. We wanted to stay but not at any cost.”
NS subsidiary Abellio leaves North Rhine-Westphalia
Source link NS subsidiary Abellio leaves North Rhine-Westphalia