NatEx reports signs of coach confidence
National Express reports that around 70% of seats were sold on services for its first week back since the start of the third lockdown. This figure increased to 80% over the Easter weekend. The operator believes this shows strong signs of the public’s increased confidence in domestic travel.
National Express restarted coach operations with a limited timetable and reduced passenger numbers per vehicle on 29 March following an 11-week suspension.
John Boughton, commercial director of National Express UK Coach, said: “Our first week back on the road has been encouraging. We will be adding new routes, including to Yorkshire, Nottingham and Blackpool, and increasing the frequency of some services from mid-April to meet the growing demand we are seeing in line with the next easing of restrictions.
“There have been significant jumps in people planning a coach journey in 2021 every time we reach a date in the roadmap” – John Boughton, commercial director of National Express UK Coach
“There have been significant jumps in people planning a coach journey in 2021 every time we reach a date in the roadmap or there is an announcement. We saw online searches increase by 24% on Sunday 5 April following the official confirmation from Number 10 that we will move to step two of the roadmap on Monday 12 April.
“The uncertainty around foreign travel means more and more people are planning a break in the UK this year and using coach travel for their journey.
“Our new option to book accommodation and attractions along with coach travel, complete with a price guarantee and ABTA protection, is proving popular. And we are seeing particularly strong interest in services to major UK holiday destinations such as Bournemouth, Brighton, Blackpool, Skegness and Devon.
“We are going to make coach travel more convenient and even greater value in 2021. We’ve removed the booking fee for any purchases made through a National Express online account and included more options to claim a refund or amend a journey if circumstances change. We have also automatically extended over 100,000 previously purchased coachcards by 12 months.”