Press release, 23/05/2017
++ HELLÖ-customers benefit from access to Europe’s largest long-distance bus network ++ Integration into the FlixBus-network from August 2017 onwards ++ More destinations and broader intercity bus connections for customers in Austria ++ Cooperation between FlixBus and ÖBB - Shared goal in the public mobility sector: Being an attractive alternative to individual transport
Vienna/Munich, 23/05/2017 – Mobility provider FlixBus acquires the long-distance bus division of ÖBB, Austria’s state-owned railway company (Österreichische Bundesbahnen). This was announced on Monday, May 22nd 2017, by the ÖBB and FlixBus. FlixBus-Founder and Global Managing Director Jochen Engert: “We are looking forward to many new customers and a long-term cooperation with ÖBB. Together, we will provide travellers in Austria with an even more attractive alternative to travel by car.”
The buses of the HELLÖ-fleet will continue their service until the end of July. From August onwards, customers will then benefit from the Europe-wide FlixBus route network, whose connections will also be bookable on wegfinder.at.
From August 1st onwards, all existing HELLÖ-lines will be integrated in the pan-European FlixBus-network and sold on www.flixbus.at. Within the scope of the transaction, FlixBus-partner BLAGUSS will be responsible for the operation of the HELLÖ-lines. Thus, additional capacities will be employed on popular routes. At the same time, FlixBus will expand the existing intercity bus travel network by new connections and new destinations in Austria as well as abroad. Jochen Engert: “Instead of parallel rides, due to the network integration we will establish new travel options. Our customers in Austria will very soon be able to enjoy a considerably extended intercity bus network.”
FlixBus initially started in Germany in 2013 as startup, when the market was opened. In cooperation with the Austrian BLAGUSS Group, FlixBus expanded its route network for the first time to Austria in summer 2014, and as of late towards CEE (Central Eastern Europe). In 2016, 2.7 million passengers travelled with FlixBus in Austria which is twice as much as in the year before. With 150.000 daily connections to more than 1.000 destinations, the green intercity buses by now offer Europe’s largest network which is used by more than 30 million people per year.
The ÖBB-Fernbus GmbH was founded in October 2015 and started its international lines under the brand HELLÖ in summer 2016. At the moment, the HELLÖ-busses connect numerous destinations in neighbouring countries like Germany and Italy on cross-border lines.
Digitalisation of a traditional means of transport: FlixBus establishes itself in Europe
In 2015, around 20 million people chose FlixBus for their trip through Europe. Thus, more people travelled with FlixBus than by air within Germany. In 2016, FlixBus expects another passenger growth of more than 50 per cent up to 30 million customers.
Besides an innovative business model, FlixBus focuses on the digitalisation of a traditional means of transport. By check-in via smartphone, booking and delay management via app, GPS-tracking of the buses and its dynamic pricing system, FlixBus distinguishes itself clearly from its competitors. With this strategy, FlixBus established national networks in France, Italy and the Netherlands successfully in the past year. Currently, FlixBus expands its success model to Croatia.