“AT THE MOMENT WE HAVE NO TURNOVER, IT WILL BE A LONG JOURNEY”
The Covid-19 crisis is still active in various stages all over the world. A number of countries is trying to resume business, not as usual but at a limited pace. Busworld Academy organizes several webinar about the bus and coach business deals with the Covid-19 crisis. In the fourth webinar six speakers from several branches in the coach and bus industry gave their opinion about how to restart business. One of those, Tobias Stüber CEO from Flibco shared his reflections about how a starting company, like Flibco, is coping with an unprecedented crisis like this.
The first three Busworld webinars were about how to survive the Covid-19 crisis and this one, the fourth was looking ahead about how the industry can get back to normal operation after the Covid-19 crisis, as Jan Deman, director of Busworld Academy explained in his webinar-opening words.
Tobias Stüber has been the general director of Flibco.com since October 2018. Flibco.com is a digital platform specialized in passenger transport between cities and airports. Besides digital solutions for bus transport between airports and cities, Flibco.com has also developed a software solution called Door2Gate. With the D2G service people are picked up at home and transported to the airport. The peculiarity of this service is that bookings are combined independently of each other and therefore you can offer the customer an "unbeatable" price.
Flibco, a Sales Lentz (Luxembourg) subsidairy, uses digital means to move people from airports to cities and vice versa, a niche in airport transportation. It operates shuttle buses and a door-to-gate service in which Flibco combines customers bringing them to the airport in shared mobility services. The start of this service over a year ago was very promising, but than Covid-19 hit the business hard. Tobias Stüber: “We hope that now the market is coming back again we can continue our service. The actual transport is done by subcontractors in different business models. We are giving them a sales-platform, driver app and business intelligence with statistics in real time. Last year we transported 1.9 million passengers to different destinations in Europe.”
Because all the “normal” flight schedules are no longer existing it is more difficult to add tickets and transport to the flights from arrivals or to departures. They need the information directly from the airliners. “Looking ahead for after the crisis we use the data from the airport about departures and arrivals, from the airliners we get data about the occupants of the flight so we can determine when it makes sense for us to go onto the market. We also make use of for instance Booking.com and CheckMyBus.”
Stüber makes an interesting comment on the difference between an airplane where is no social distancing and the way buses and coaches are treated by legislators regarding social distancing. A problem which exists in more European countries. The interesting part here is the capacity. An airplane can use full capacity and a coach less then halve. “This is for us not profitable. So we are negotiating with governments that we can run with 100