Firm aims to be UK market leader by 2025

FlixBus will launch UK services on four routes from tomorrow

Growing international coach operator FlixBus has confirmed rumours surrounding plans to launch an assault on the UK market with the announcement it will commence services tomorrow on several routes from London.

Last year, the German company registered a new UK-based subsidiary with a registered office based at a Bristol law firm (see issue PT217). The new company’s sole director was named as Max Zeumer, FlixBus’s vice president of international business. The company also applied for a UK operator’s licence.

Now FlixBus has confirmed it plans and says it plans to carry seven million passengers across the UK within the first 12 months of operations and become the market leader by 2025.

Like its operations overseas, FlixBus UK will partner with smaller coach operators, including Turner’s Coachways of Bristol and London-based YPIJ Coaches, to launch services. It will start operations on four routes from London with fares starting at £2.99. Initially there will be 200 services each week.

With lockdown coming to an end, the company expects to be able to quickly increase the destinations they offer to add to the initial routes from London to Bristol, Guildford, Birmingham and Portsmouth. Starting July 2, FlixBus will also resume its service to mainland Europe and directly connect London to cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, FlixBus says hygiene and safety are of the highest priority, so every coach will be disinfected before every service and undergo a thorough cleaning process. The row immediately behind the driver will be kept clear and only half of the remaining seats will be sold to ensure social distancing.

Andreas Schorling, FlixBus UK managing director, said he is confident the company would be the cheapest way for people to travel between the cities they are servicing – and expects to quickly add to their destinations.

He continued: “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. On top of that, travelling by coach is the greenest way of travelling in Britain. As we are partnering with local firms, we will also be giving a boost to businesses that have been hit hard by COVID-19.”

Initially, the company will use six coaches from different local firms but will quickly add to this as demand picks up. Schorling said: “To start with, we will be connecting London, Birmingham, Bristol, Portsmouth and Guildford to Europe’s largest intercity bus network, with more UK cities to come. This is just the beginning – we have great plans for Britain and aim to grow to market leader by 2025.”

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