Pablo Pastega, the managing director of FlixBus for Portugal and Spain, said that the company's goal for 2022 "if the pandemic situation so allows" is to continue to grow."
Germany-based road passenger transport operator FlixBus has said that it wants to triple its number of express coach services in its network in Portugal next year, to carry a total of two million passengers.
Pablo Pastega, the managing director of FlixBus for Portugal and Spain, told Lusa that the company’s goal for 2022 “if the pandemic situation so allows” is to continue to grow, with a tripling of expresses from this year’s total, with the help of local partners”.
“With the investment and development we continue to make in the domestic network our goal is to reach two million passengers by the end of 2022,” he said.
According to Pastega, the network “has already exceeded forty destinations in Portugal, and the goal for next year is to increase by at least 25%, that is, to extend the network to around fifty cities.
“We want to contribute to the recovery of tourism in Portugal, in this post-pandemic” period, he said, adding that “this summer, more than 40% of passengers were of foreign nationality” and stating that FlixBus wants to see this figure grow.
Meanwhile, the “international network is stabilised,” while in Portugal the company has “been expanding since its launch” in 2017.
“This summer we connected Portugal to 190 European cities, and next year our expectation is to increase the number of connections by about 10%” he advanced.
According to Pastega, the company recently created “a traffic control hub in Portugal, which joins the five already existing, distributed among the various countries where FlixBus has operations.”
In a statement, the company announced that this year it has seen one million passengers carried to and from Portugal, on domestic and international lines, representing a growth of 97% compared to summer 2019.
FlixBus carried about 43,000 passengers in July and August last year, less than half of the 105,000 carried in the same months in 2019, it said. But this year, its business has recovered and is growing again in Portugal, with 207,000 passengers in July and August alone, of which more than 40% were foreign nationals, above all from Spain, France and Germany.