FlixBus optimistic for road ahead as it launches in UK
AN INTERCITY coach service is being launched in Britain this week by transport app FlixBus despite a plunge in bus travel.
Services will run from London to Bristol, Guildford, Birmingham and Portsmouth as the Munich-based startup works with local bus operators to offer about 200 trips a week with fares at £3. It does not own coaches or employ drivers directly.
FlixBus will initially use six coaches and plans to increase that number in response to demand. It expects several million UK passengers in the first year.
The firm carried 62m passengers overall last year but was forced to suspend cross-border services in Europe.
Andreas Schorling, head of FlixBus UK, said: “With the lockdown restrictions easing, people will want to start travelling to see family and friends, go back to university or college or travel for work and we will offer a safe, comfortable and affordable way to do this.”
Kevyn Jones, of Bristol firm Turners Coachways, said: “The travel industry has been badly hit by the coronavirus, so this is a very welcome launch.”
Demand for coach travel remains subdued. National Express is only relaunching services at a reduced frequency from today.
The FTSE 250 firm, which suspended all services in the past three months, said earlier in June that coaches can only run at 50pc capacity due to social distancing restrictions.
FlixBus said fewer than half of the seats on its buses will be sold to ensure passengers can keep a safe distance, while coaches will be disinfected before every journey and face masks will be compulsory.