The French railway operator SNCF launched their new home online this week with their home page now oui.sncf. SNCF is one of the most prominent brands to make the switch to a new gTLD, particularly in Europe. The previous home of SNCF online, voyages-sncf.com, now redirects to the new domain name. The launch is part of a major rebranding which includes new social media pages including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
There are currently 7 domain names registered, 3 of them parked, under the new generic top level domain according to nTLDstats.com with SNCF using the .fr registry provider Afnic for backend registry services.
The change is part of a massive transformation that the railway operator hopes will see an additional 15 million customers per year by 2020, a five-fold growth in low fare passengers, a €1.5 billion investment in rolling stock and a €300 investment in on-board WiFi. The change is to counter the growth of low-cost airlines and bus services. The new low-cost TGV services will become OUIGO. The rebranding of the TGV service will commenced with the Paris-Bordeaux route on 2 July.
The rebranding of Voyages-SNCF.com to use a new generic top level domain will certainly raise awareness in France of the new gTLDs as most French people will use their national railways. One quarter of all French SNCF tickets are sold through the website. Under voyages-sncf.com there are 14 websites in 6 languages.