Oxford Bus Company Airline services taking off

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Oxford Bus Company says its Airline coach service to Heathrow and Gatwick airports is experiencing growing passenger numbers as international travel starts to bounce back.

The operator has reported the number of customers travelling has more than doubled since ‘Freedom Day’ when travel restrictions to many destinations were relaxed. The Airline service between Oxford and Gatwick Airport has been reinstated and operates every two hours, while the route between Oxford and Heathrow Airport has seen its frequency increased to operate 29 return journeys per day.

Passenger numbers are now at the highest point since the pandemic started, the firm said. Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director, commented: “It is great to see more and more people returning to our Airline services. There has been a real increase in activity since Freedom Day with more people using our service to connect with and between the two airports.

“It’s also encouraging to see activity levels at the airports increasing and we have seen some of our customers who work at the airports returning to work after almost 18 months on furlough.

“We are also seeing a lot of customers using vouchers from previously cancelled flights that have an upcoming expiry date. It feels like international travel is really reawakening and we expect to see a further increase in numbers on the upcoming bank holiday weekend and as students start to return to the city.”

The mainstay of the Airline fleet are eleven Mercedes-Benz Tourismos, including two which are vinyl wrapped for the Ashmolean Museum. RICHARD SHARMAN