Throughout the year we continued to enhance the coach network’s profile by investing in information technology and ticketing systems.

UK express coach services Our strategy of developing our high-frequency shuttle routes, introducing marketing initiatives, developing relationships with partners, such as the Royal British Legion and the British Tourist Authority, and the success of GoByCoach.com resulted in a 1% growth in passengers using these services.

We increased the frequency of services into London and to regional airports. In the summer, major improvements were made to the cross-country network, thereby providing a broader network. In addition, we continued to improve ticket accessibility by using direct sales. In August, we launched our website, GoByCoach.com and by the end of the year, were selling 6% of tickets through the internet.

We won contracts for carrying passengers to the Millennium Dome, in collaboration with New Millennium Experience Company and McDonalds; and for transporting asylum seekers from reception centres to long-term accommodation.

Airport services

In February, we acquired the Brighton Shuttle services and the Airbus brand, which added a further dimension to our airport services. We are investing in improving our airport coach terminals, sales desks and lounge facilities at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

We strengthened our position as market leader in providing scheduled and contract services to London’s three international airports when Airlinks acquired Capital Logistics in April 2000. Airlinks is the largest UK provider of airport coach services to BAA and many international airlines. In April, we won the airside and landside coaching contract at Gatwick airport.

In May, in conjunction with the bus division, we introduced an experimental Birmingham Airbus service which links Birmingham International Airport with city centre hotels. The service operates 16 hours a day, seven days a week and provides a vital connection for travellers.

European coaching

Competition in the UK from low-cost airlines intensified but marketing initiatives to re-establish Eurolines as the best value for European travel, resulted in a good performance on the key London, Paris and Amsterdam routes. We continued to invest in sales and distribution.

The future

We will continue to develop new products. Further investment in our direct sales will make coach travel more accessible and easier to use thereby increasing its appeal thereby providing continued growth.

 

Customer service

We continue to improve ticket accessibility by using direct sales.

In August, we launched our website, GoByCoach.com, and by
the end of the year, were selling 6% of tickets through the internet.

 

Ease of use

Following the award of all BAA Gatwick’s airside and landside coaching services, we transfer landside staff to and from car parks and operate airside inter-terminal shuttle, airside crew bussing and airside passenger bussing.