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After the Southwest, Flixbus heads to America's East Coast

A year after making its foray in the West of the New World, the German startup set out to conquer the East. The bus operator now wants to reach the cities on America's Atlantic Coast.

The German giant, European leader in bus services, acquired two Transdev companies this month, Isilines and Eurolines. The latter has been present on the market for more than 30 years, while Flixbus is barely blowing out its sixth candle. This symbolic act demonstrates the undeniable success of this start-up in Germany, with its business model based on subcontracting, enabling it to reach 29 countries by the end of 2018. Its three main markets are Germany, Italy and France. But this does not prevent the company from looking beyond Europe's borders, starting with a very distant destination for this European company: the United States.

Re-enter Flixbus as a disrupter on the American market, with a low-cost offer that drastically competes with traditional companies like Greyhound. It opened its subsidiary's headquarters in L.A. last year, with the first routes focusing on the American Southwest. Now the company wants to expand to the other half of the country. It will now also operate in the east of the continent, along the coastline from Richmond to Washington, DC, Baltimore and New York, as well as in back country cities in the south and west with Texas, Utah, Mississippi and Louisiana including New Orleans.

The reasons for this expansion are mainly linked to the foresight of André Schwämmlein, co-founder and CEO of Flixbus, who sees his company as a "new travel alternative" for the citizens of the Federal Republic. Indeed, the company has already managed to gain market share from their competitors, particularly those operating in the air or rail transport sector, since 65% of their American customers have never traveled with a bus before. As a result, prospects are already bright for the startup, which links 75 destinations across the country (see map below). This growth may offset losses in unprofitable markets such as France, where, despite a 40% increase in its customer base, the company was unable to recover its costs in 2018.

 

Carte de Flixbus aux USA
Villes où est présent Flixbus en mai 2019. Source : Flixbus.
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