TALLINN – Europe's largest bus company, Flixbus, will start traveling to Tallinn under plans to expand to eastern and western Europe in the first half of 2020, Estonia's public broadcaster ERR reported.
"We are preparing to start operations in the Baltic states," said Michal Leman, managing director of Flixbus in Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states. "Our main priority is the lines connecting Tallinn with other European capitals, such as Berlin and Warsaw, and we plan to launch them in the first half of 2020," Leman said according to the English-language news portal of ERR.
This week, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications approved Flixbus Polska's request to open Berlin-Tallinn, Warsaw-Tallinn and Prague-Tallinn bus routes.
Hugo Osula, founder of leading Estonian intercity carrier LuxExpress, said the competition in the bus market in the Baltics is very strong and there are many carriers.
"The lines are operated by Latvian, Lithuanian and international companies. There will certainly be a role for another competitor. Passengers will have more choice and carriers will continue to work to improve service quality," Osula said.
Speaking about the impact of Flixbus' entry on prices, Osula said that a few years ago, Superbus tried to operate here by offering cheap tickets, but it did not stay in the market for long.
"I doubt Flixbus is going to make a big loss here. Investment in the bus business is very high and profits are very low. It will certainly not be possible to do long-term dumping," he said.
Flixbus Estonia was registered in Estonia at the end of last year. The company was founded in 2013 and has been active in the international market since 2015. Flixbus serves over 2,500 destinations in 30 markets.