FlixBus to take over Eurolines
FlixBus, the German provider of long-distance bus journeys, is planning to take over its competitor, Eurolines. On Monday, FlixBus announced that it was negotiating with its parent company, Transdev, about the possible take-over of Eurolines and sister company Isilines. Figures about the deal were not mentioned. Eurolines says it wants to focus on its core business: public transport.
Both companies are active in Belgium. FlixBus, with its flashy green buses, transported 45 million passengers last year, Eurolines 2,5 million. The German company that almost has a monopoly when it comes to long-distance travels, wants to strengthen its leadership in France. At the same time, it wants to extend its range in Europe. “Together with Eurolines, FlixBus could guarantee a more complete and diverse offer”, explained FlixBus CEO, Jochen Engert.
FlixBus’ announcement came shortly after the French car sharing platform Blablacar had made public it wants to introduce long-distance bus lines in Germany. By the end of this year, BlaBlacar bus lines will connect 60 cities in Belgium and Germany.
Why are those long-distance bus journeys so popular? Bus travels seem to be trendier than ever. “Because they succeed in attracting a new, young target group, like students, who want to travel as cheap as possible”, explains transport economist, Eddy Van de Voorde.
Travelling by bus used to have a bad reputation because of the old and dirty buses, the filthy toilets on board and the even more grubby bus stops at dark parking lots. Today, FlixBus’ reputation is green, clean, young and cheap.
Van de Voorde has some objections, though. He wonders whether the success of the buses will last. “Low budget flights are under fire but I don’t think that cheap long-distance bus journeys could be considered sustainable either.”
Competition between the cheap bus trip providers is fierce and profitability is low. FlixBus does not communicate any figures. The only thing the company mentioned was that in 2017 it made some profit, for the first time.