June 30, 2020 / 9:11 AM / a month ago

Flixbus launches UK bus service, bouncing back from lockdowns

FILE PHOTO: A coach of German mobility platform FlixBus that runs bus and train services, arrives at a bus depot in Munich, southern Germany, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Transport app Flixbus said on Tuesday it would launch intercity coach services in Britain as it bounces back from disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic that forced it to halt services across Europe this spring.

The Munich-based start-up will begin by offering services from London to Bristol, Guildford, Birmingham and Portsmouth, working with local coach firms to offer 200 trips a week from July 2.

Flixbus plans to widen its route network and carry several million passengers on its distinctive green buses within 12 months of launching its UK services, part of a network operating 400,000 daily connections across 32 countries.

Founded in 2013, Flixbus raised 500 million euros ($564 million) from investors in 2019 to expand but had to halt cross-border services as European governments imposed lockdowns in March to curb the pandemic.

Flixbus is now gradually ramping up bus services in most European countries and some U.S. states, with buses disinfected before each trip and passengers required to wear face masks. It expects to resume rail services in Germany later this month.

($1 = 0.8870 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mark Potter

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