Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD., announced new service improvements and growth plans for Dublin Bus Airlink and its City & Coastal Tours services.
To meet increasing customer demand and internal Airlink business projections of 100% revenue growth by 2020, Minister Donohoe announced enhanced services on the Airlink route, including improved frequency, additional vehicles and additional trips for customers.
Airlink now provides a 10 minute all day frequency. The number of daily trips has increased by 42% (from 140 to 199) Monday to Saturday and earlier and later departure times of 4.45am and 12.30am have been scheduled. There will also be an increase of four additional trips on Sundays (from 118 to 122).
Dublin Bus has seen strong performance across its Commercial Division that includes Airlink, Open Top City Tours, Coastal Tours and Ghostbus Tours. Most recently filed financial results (2014) show turnover of the Commercial Division of €15 million, with 2015 passenger numbers showing a 5% increase to 2 million passengers. Specifically Airlink passenger numbers have increased by 11% in 2015 up to 1.5 million.
According to the Minister, “The improvements being announced here today by Dublin Bus Airlink are testament to the growth the company is experiencing. Plans to double revenue growth in the coming years are also a strong sign of how ambitious the company is and how it sees itself developing in the future. Airlink is a valuable service that offers customers an affordable and quick transport link to Dublin Airport. Building on that through increased frequency and longer operating hours will further enhance its attractiveness, making the service even more competitive.”
Minister Donohoe also announced that Dublin Bus is continuing to explore opportunities to develop services further, including a new Airlink route serving the southside of the city for 2016.; “The development of a new route will also, I am sure, come as great news to those living south of the Liffey, who will no doubt be looking forward to availing of it in the near future’.”
He continued; “Last year recorded the highest number of overseas tourists ever to come to Ireland. Through the implementation of the right policies to support the industry that success can continue. The growth that Airlink and City & Coastal Tours have been experiencing is on the back of an exceptionally buoyant tourism sector and their plans to mark our centenary year will add to their impressive performance result and help them to realise their targets for the year ahead.”
According to Dublin Bus CEO, Ray Coyne; “Our Commercial Services Division has been adapting to the changing market and is well positioned to realise the benefits of the current inbound tourism market growth and further projections of up to 10 million visitors annually by 2025. We will continue to innovate and offer cost-efficient, professional services and engaging tours to the international and domestic market in order to maintain our market leadership in this field and meet our ambitious growth targets.”
The most popular journey on the existing Airlink route is from Dublin Airport to the City Centre. It provides stops at key tourist attractions and transport network gateways including Trinity College, Christchurch, Heuston Station, Connolly Station, Busauras and over 80 hotels (17,000 beds) and guesthouses throughout the city. The success of the Airlink service is credited to a number of factors including:
• value for money ticket offering of €6 single / €10 return,
• most efficient route with access to Airport via the Port Tunnel
• fastest journey times of 20mins to Convention Centre/ 30 mins to City Centre
• excellent customer service including free Wi-Fi and Airlink Meet & Greet Ambassadors at Dublin Airport to assist customers.
Innovation in services, pricing packages, highly trained drivers and entertaining tour insights are the key pillars of the success of the Sightseeing Tours in maintaining its position as market leader since it was launched 28 years ago. At its core, is its ability to devise and deliver engaging tours that thrill customers. Today Minister Donohoe also welcomed plans for Dublin Bus to contribute to the activities around the centenary of the 1916 Rising in the form of a specially developed and professionally produced 1916 Commemorative Bus Tour, which will be launched in the coming weeks.
As well as innovation in services, the company seeks to innovate in ticket offering across all services. Its value for money offering includes a Dublin Bus Tours Freedom Ticket - a 3 day Freedom Pass of unlimited journeys on the Airlink, the Hop-on Hop-off open-top City Tour buses and the entire Dublin Bus network for €33 per person (€14 for children under 14).