‘Do something about it’ – JKT International

JKT International continues to invest in Scania as the Walsall-operator refuses to take these hard times laying down

Despite the challenging conditions prevailing at the moment, Walsall-based JKT International has added a sixth Scania Irizar coach to its 12-strong fleet. “Although these times are extremely tough, we made the decision to continue our investment programme in new PSVAR compliant vehicles,” comments JKT International Director, Jawed Akhtar.

On why he has taken the plunge on buying new, Jawed told Bus and Coach Buyer: “It’s pointless sitting down and doing nothing about it. We are hoping for the best and when we are needed to go again, we will have a PSVAR vehicle.

“I thought instead of sitting at home waiting for bad things to happen, I would do something about it, so that as soon as things get moving again, I’m prepared. It’s the way forward, you can’t just sit back, you have to come out. If you’re not going to move, nothing will happen. I’ve spoken to some coach operators and they say if they go down, they go down. But I don’t feel like that. I just hope for the best and for good days.

“Hopefully something will come from the government and from the industry. We just need a small push from the government and a push from ourselves.”

Entering service on 1 September 2020, the company’s latest vehicle is a Scania Irizar i6S with HD bodywork. Based on a Scania K 360 EB4x2 chassis, the coach is built to full PSVAR specification, including a wheelchair lift and destination equipment. The vehicle’s overall length is 12.9 metres, a new variant launched in December 2019. Interior fitments include 53 half-leather seats with three-point seatbelts, a central sunken-toilet, hot-drinks dispenser, DVD player and two monitors, climate control and a reversing camera. Complementing the vehicle’s exterior lines, Alcoa Dura-Bright alloy wheels are fitted.

Jawed said: “I’ve had some good support from Scania, I got a good deal with them.”

He continued: “We have a long-standing partnership with Scania and have always received excellent service from both its pre- and after-sales departments.” Supplied with an inclusive two-year repair and maintenance contract, service will be provided by JKT International’s local Scania dealer, Keltruck Willenhall.

In addition to the new Scania he has purchased, Jawed has also added two second-hand PSVAR-compliant coaches.

Jawed said: “We are just looking forward and hoping for the best.”

He believes the PSVAR-specification vehicles will serve him well in the future: “For example, if you phone Staffordshire County Council up, the first thing they will ask is: how many PSVAR vehicles do you have? If you get in touch with someone for rail replacement, they say: how many PSVAR vehicles have you got? It’s the same with National Express.”

When does Jawed expect business to pick up? “Once schools start back up, hopefully that will help things kick-in a bit, we will have a bit more response.”

Established over 50 years ago, JKT International specialises in providing a comprehensive range of UK and European group travel services for schools, clubs and societies.

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