During the first half of 2009, Eurolines will be purchasing four new tourist coaches, three of which will comply with the Lux Express service standard applied by the company on international routes. Due to the increase in the number of coaches, new departure times will be added to the Lux Express departure schedules on the Tallinn-St. Petersburg, Tallinn-Riga and Riga-Vilnius routes, starting from March, said Hannes Saarpuu, the Chairman of the Management Board of Eurolines Baltic.
According to Saarpuu, the company needs to make additions to its coach fleet to be able to widen its sphere of activities, in order to keep up with the developments in the market. During the past 15 months, Eurolines Baltic has invested a total of more than 50 million Estonian kroons in new coaches. 11 new coaches have been added to the company’s operational bases in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and St. Petersburg.
“The second half of 2008 was a positive time for Eurolines Baltic. Despite the deterioration of the overall economic situation, the chosen strategic direction and the investments made in the coach fleet and in product development resulted in both a rise in the number of passengers as well as a substantial increase in the company’s revenue on all the routes operated within the Baltic States,” Hannes Saarpuu commented.
According to Saarpuu, the product concept of Lux Express, launched at the end of 2007 and aimed at quality-conscious passengers travelling on the main routes within the Baltic States, has proven to be particularly successful. At present, the Lux Express coaches operate on four main routes (Tallinn-St. Petersburg; Tallinn-Riga; Riga-Vilnius and Riga-Klaipeda). During the 11 months in 2008, more than 75,000 passengers used the services of Lux Express coaches. More than 300 companies from all over the Baltic States have joined the Eurolines corporate customer programme introduced in October 2008.
“So far, the economic recession has not had a negative influence on our sales figures, quite the contrary – during the past few months we have been witnessing positive developments on a number of our routes. It seems that since both companies as well as end customers are monitoring their expenses in a more careful manner than before, it is likely that more and more passengers will eventually start considering high-quality and comfortable coaches as a real alternative to cars and planes,” Saarpuu noted.
Due to the constantly increasing demand for the service, Eurolines is planning to increase the number of departures on all Lux Express routes starting from the spring of 2009. The following additions will be made:
Tallinn–Riga route- a fourth departure for coaches operating on workdays will be added to the current three departures for coaches operating every day; the extra departure will apply to coaches travelling in both directions;
Tallinn–St. Petersburg route– a second departure time will be added to the current single departure time for coaches operating every day; the extra departure will apply to coaches travelling in both directions.
Riga–Vilnius route – a third departure will be added to the current two departure times for coaches operating every day; the extra departure will apply to coaches travelling in both directions.
The Eurolines Baltic trademark is represented by MootorReisiAS and its subsidiaries in the provision of regular international coach travel. MootorReisiAS, a company established in 1993, has developed into one of the leading international coach travel service providers in the Baltic States. The company’s main offices with operational bases and sales networks are located in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Klaipeda and St. Petersburg. The parent company owns approximately 50 modern tourist coaches. In 2007, the group provided services for approximately half a million customers and the group’s turnover was 10 million Euros.