European bus operator Flix is looking at India for its next phase of growth. The company has announced started its operations in India, and has roped in Surya Khurana as the MD for domestic operations, who will also help build the team.
FlixBus is currently present in Europe, the Americas, Turkey and now aims to start its first inter-city green lines service in India by early 2024.
The company says that buses which form the backbone of transport in India and a market size larger than Europe, Turkey and North America combined, it sees immense potential for growth in this region, providing affordable, sustainable and safe long-distance bus services.
Andre Schwammlein, Co-Founder & CEO, Flix said, “I’m excited to share that India will join the Flix network as the 42nd country worldwide. Our mission is to offer affordable and sustainable travel options for everyone, and we see significant demand for such services in India. We are confident that our unique business model to work with small and medium-sized local bus partners and our technology for planning, booking operations and pricing will be a winning match also in India. With our strong focus on standardization and safety we will build the most competitive bus network in this region.”
The average age of buses in the global Flix fleet is estimated to be just 4-5 years, and passengers of the green buses are offered Wi-Fi, comfortable seats with plenty of legroom, air-conditioning, power sockets and overall cleanliness and safety. . In most countries, FlixBus also offers a seat reservation system, which is planned to be launched in all FlixBus markets.
The bus operator says its aim is not only to grow profitably but also responsibly and sustainably. Hence, it is also testing long-distance alternative drives, such as biogas, electric or solar panel buses, and with a progressive climate strategy including development projects for electric and hydrogen buses.
“India is committed to alternative drives and is accelerating towards a future where collective transport is electric. This gives the opportunity for Flix to be a key local player in the development of a sustainable travel industry, setting up infrastructure and further development in this area,” added Schwammlein.
As part of its business model, Flix handles technology, customer service, quality management, network planning, as well as marketing and sales, local Flix-partners run the day-to-day operations and driver management. With this business model and Flix global network, the local economy benefits not only from the development of local companies and new employments, but also from increased tourism and tax income.
In the coming months, Khurana and the local team, located in Delhi, will be looking for more driven employees, as well as local bus partners, to establish Flix as the leading player in the Indian market.
Currently, Flix has operations in 40 countries, serves more than 5,500 destinations, and is employing more than 5,000 people of over 90 nationalities globally, supporting a diverse workplace. In 2022, the company saw its best ever performance clocking revenue of 1.5 billion euro (Rs 13,182 crore), a positive EBITDA and FCF as well as over 60 million passengers using Flix services with FlixBus, FlixTrain, Greyhound in North America and Kamil Koç in Turkey. Since its foundation in 2013, Flix says it has carried close to 300 million travelers worldwide.