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Navan expands its rail offering

Navan's rail offering: high-speed progress across Europe

Emeline Berton

12 Jun 2024
5 minute read
Navan's expanding rail inventory with over 30 European carriers

When it comes to Navan’s rail offering, expansion and partnerships have been the watchwords in recent months. Amidst a resurgence in rail travel across Europe — sparked by the ongoing development of high-speed rail networks and the European Union’s liberalisation of the rail market — Navan has focused on strengthening its rail options by expanding its rail inventory and developing product features that elevate the user experience.

The aim: to meet the needs and expectations of business travellers with a flexible, easy-to-use, and self-service rail offering, all while supporting companies' objectives to reduce their CO2 emissions and adapt to any regulations that come into force, as happened in France.

The expectation today is for TMCs to provide a travel inventory that meets both the needs of travellers in terms of practicality and comfort, and the expectations of companies targeting more sustainable business travel and better optimised travel budgets.

OUIGO, the latest addition to Navan’s rail inventory

To ensure our customers get access to a vast array of options and fares, Navan is pleased to now offer the content of French rail company OUIGO directly on our platform.

Navan is one of the first TMCs to provide access to OUIGO’s rail inventory, and the addition means we now offer the rail fares of all of the biggest companies in the SNCF network, including Eurostar, TGV, TER, Intercités, and Lyria. Navan customers also have access to trains from Trenitalia and Renfe in France, with more than 30 European companies available in total.

Paris to Lyon train route with Navan

On a Paris-Lyon journey, Navan customers can now choose between SNCF, OUIGO, and Trenitalia trains. This means more options, and potentially greater savings for customers.

Beyond France, Navan customers get access to many of the continent’s leading rail providers, for example UK Rail (which includes over 25 companies), SNCF (including TGV, TER, Intercités, and Lyria), Renfe (including Avlo), Deutsche Bahn, SBB, Italo (NTV), Trenitalia, NS International, SNCB, and Eurostar, as well as Amtrak in the US.

In addition, Navan’s rail content is accessible from most countries, so travellers can book journeys wherever they may be.

Navan's extensive rail inventory means travellers can feasibly ride from Edinburgh all the way to Seville, stopping over in Milan en route if desired.

"At Navan, we invest heavily to ensure our customers have access to the best possible inventory. Through our partnerships and the OUIGO offer, Navan customers have access to more sustainable travel options, lower fares, and a better shopping experience."

— Michael Riegel, CEO of Navan EMEA

The arrival of OUIGO content means Navan customers can access all routes served by OUIGO in France, with lower fares and connections to popular destinations such as Paris, Nice, Marseille, Montpellier, and Nantes. 

"With the liberalisation of the rail network in France and Europe, the number of companies has increased and competition has intensified. With more competitive prices, it is now the responsibility of TMCs to offer as much choice as possible and to pass these savings on to their customers,” says Michael Riegel, CEO of Navan EMEA. 

An optimised, self-serve user experience

With the intuitive, easy-to-use Navan platform, our mission is to give travellers maximum autonomy throughout the travel process. Whether for flights, hire cars, or trains, this means an optimised, self-service booking experience.

Just like with the consumer platforms they use every day, travellers are able to cancel a reservation made with any rail company directly on Navan’s web or mobile platform, without needing agent support. Similarly, they can modify bookings with numerous companies in just a few clicks, including SNCF, UK Rail, Amtrak, Italo, and Trenitalia. 

1. Rail alternative pop-up

In 2023, France banned short-haul flights on routes that could be covered in less than two-and-a-half hours by train. This decision, a first in Europe, prompted us to further strengthen our sustainability strategy, particularly with regards to rail travel.

The rail alternative pop-up is designed to consider more sustainable transport options for journeys. When a passenger searches for a flight and there is a suitable train alternative for that journey, a pop-up appears encouraging them to explore the train journeys available for that route. They can then choose their ticket and proceed to booking, or go back if they still prefer to fly.

This has two advantages for companies. Firstly, it potentially helps reduce their carbon footprint, since a train journey on a domestic route emits around 35 grams of CO2 per kilometre compared with 246 grams for a domestic flight. Secondly, they can often reduce their travel spend; Navan data shows train bookings are on average around £120 cheaper than flights.

2. Seat reservations

Travellers can see train seat maps in real time on the Navan platform. This feature, which is available for both individual and group bookings, allows passengers to choose their seat, and view the seats already reserved by their colleagues so that they can choose to sit next to them — or not. Users can book their seats on trains operated by Trenitalia and SNCF (first-class tickets only), and soon for journeys with Deutsche Bahn.

3. Loyalty programme compatible

To enable users to continue getting points and price reductions on their train journeys, Navan is compatible with a large number of rail companies' passenger loyalty programmes, including those of SNCF (including TGV, TER, and Intercités), Deutsche Bahn, and Trenitalia. 

More than 100 loyalty programmes are currently accepted on the platform. All passengers have to do is add their loyalty details to their Navan profile to take advantage of the benefits and reduced fares on offer, on top of the benefits they get through the Navan platform.

An ever-growing travel inventory

As well as continuing to broaden the rail inventory Navan customers can choose from, we're focused on expanding our air offering. Navan customers can now access NDC content from 15 airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa Group, KLM, and Air France. Users booking flights on Navan via NDC enjoy the same quality of service as with GDS bookings, including the ability to change or cancel a booking independently, and get frequent flyer benefits and much more, directly on the Navan platform.

All this is part of Navan’s overarching mission to give customers the greatest selection of travel inventory, at the best possible price.

Ready to find out how Navan's unrivalled rail and air inventory can help you save on travel and reduce your carbon emissions? Schedule a demo with our team.

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