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Dublin Airport Bus Service Changes

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  • from what i am hearing john might be Looking at the belfast and Cork Routes and the belfast route is Under First bus Northern ireland

    The route's international authorisation is actually with Last Passive Limited, Trading as Aircoach who subcontracted it to First Northern Ireland for a number of reasons.

    I would imagine that any deal for the Belfast route would include FNI.




  • bk wrote: »
    Are folks saying that DC are going to buy the Aircoach Cork and Belfast routes?!

    That would be the worst outcome possible, IMO.

    Why is that - I am genuinely curious - as a passenger the DC route is better for Dublin?




  • kenmm wrote: »
    Why is that - I am genuinely curious - as a passenger the DC route is better for Dublin?

    I assume that you have only ever used Dublin Coach on the Belfast to Dublin route and haven't used their services on any other route?

    The Belfast route has seen new coaches for the last few years, often replacing coaches that are only a year or so old as they fight a bus war with Aircoach using a timetable that would certainly not be allowed if the route was fully in ROI because of the piggybacking on someone else's investment that is going on by leaving from the same stop at roughly the same time. This is not allowed in the domestic market by the National Transport Authority.

    Meanwhile on the other routes Dublin Coach have been continually operated coaches that are now up to 16 years old for the last few years which were already quite tired in my opinion when they left their existing operators and are now past their best. If they remove Aircoach from the market, of which the whole new vehicles every year is clearly aimed at seeing off, then perhaps they will let the Belfast route go the same way in favour of the next big thing?

    All that investment in the Belfast route with new coaches every year and the rest of the network has had very little. That almost suggests that Dublin Coach is a two tier operation.




  • kenmm wrote: »
    Why is that - I am genuinely curious - as a passenger the DC route is better for Dublin?

    Well first of all, it means one less competitor on the Belfast route. Less competition is never good.

    Second of all, from what I've heard, Aircoach treated their drivers quite well, from what you hear of them, it is quite the opposite.

    On their non Belfast routes, they operate very old coaches, which seem to constantly breakdown and even burst into flames!




  • ah ok then, gotcha - didn't realise the m1 route was treated to better equipment than the rest..


    It weird as I had 2 Aircoaches in last 18 months - last one was great, brand new bus etc - one before was old and really stank of p!ss up the back..
    Competition, of course, but I would also be worried that without Aircoach, DC will end up having the same route as the Aircoach (i.e. via Airport)


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  • DC wanted to serve Dublin Airport but were not allowed to.




  • I wonder will they end up operating both routes, Dublin Direct and Via the Airport or will they drop the direct in favour of the Airport.

    It would be another blow to see the direct route disappear IMO.
    kenmm wrote: »
    It weird as I had 2 Aircoaches in last 18 months - last one was great, brand new bus etc - one before was old and really stank of p!ss up the back..

    The older one was probably a Jonckheere, which are actually a very high quality coach, arguably some of the best ever on Irish roads and a big step over their newer coaches in terms of build quality, seat comfort, legroom (but lacking modern amenities like toilets and power plugs).

    Getting on in age now and obviously a pity if not properly cleaned, but well looked after and mechanically still very sound. The DC coaches on the other routes are in way worse condition. Actually many of them are even older ex-Aircoach coaches!




  • kenmm wrote: »
    It weird as I had 2 Aircoaches in last 18 months - last one was great, brand new bus etc - one before was old and really stank of p!ss up the back..
    Competition, of course, but I would also be worried that without Aircoach, DC will end up having the same route as the Aircoach (i.e. via Airport)

    There's currently 5 coaches from 2009 still in the fleet but they are to be replaced in the coming weeks with new deliveries. When that is done the oldest vehicles in the coach fleet will be from 2014.




  • soundman45 wrote: »
    DC wanted to serve Dublin Airport but were not allowed to.

    Who stopped them, since that route is not subject to NTA licensing guidelines.

    Obviously they would have to use the coach park at Dublin Airport as they don't hold any winning bids for tenders for space at the airport either in the most recent round or the time before that.




  • devnull wrote: »
    Who stopped them, since that route is not subject to NTA licensing guidelines.

    Obviously they would have to use the coach park at Dublin Airport as they don't hold any winning bids for tenders for space at the airport either in the most recent round or the time before that.


    Is there anything stopping Dublin coach using the route licences of aircoach for the 704x and 705x that's if they buy Aircoach to serve Dublin Airport and use there new stop


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  • Is there anything stopping Dublin coach using the route licences of aircoach for the 704x and 705x that's if they buy Aircoach to serve Dublin Airport and use there new stop

    There's no such thing as a route license for cross border routes that transport passengers from one country to another since such routes within the EU fall under EU competition law rather than the territories domestic law. They have to get international authorisation yes, but it's not a license, hence why Dublin Coach were able to do some things on the Belfast route they can't on other routes in relation to timing of services and departure points etc.

    If Dublin Coach are buying part of Aircoach what happens to the other part? How do the stops work in principle? Which drivers go and which stay? What depots do they use? There's so many unanswered questions about these things. If it gets split in to two parts that are sold up on their own, who goes with which part? What part keeps the Leinster Rugby contract? Who keeps the airport car park shuttle contract?

    A split of Aircoach as has been mooted certainly would make sense from a buyers perspective who might not want the whole business, but logistically it is challenging to how it is divided and what stays and what goes and how the whole thing is going to work in principle with insurance, leases, licenses and staffing and assets etc.




  • devnull wrote: »
    There's no such thing as a route license for cross border routes that transport passengers from one country to another since such routes within the EU fall under EU competition law rather than the territories domestic law. They have to get international authorisation yes, but it's not a license, hence why Dublin Coach were able to do some things on the Belfast route they can't on other routes in relation to timing of services and departure points etc.

    If Dublin Coach are buying part of Aircoach what happens to the other part? How do the stops work in principle? Which drivers go and which stay? What depots do they use? There's so many unanswered questions about these things. If it gets split in to two parts that are sold up on their own, who goes with which part? What part keeps the Leinster Rugby contract? Who keeps the airport car park shuttle contract?

    A split of Aircoach as has been mooted certainly would make sense from a buyers perspective who might not want the whole business, but logistically it is challenging to how it is divided and what stays and what goes and how the whole thing is going to work in principle with insurance, leases, licenses and staffing and assets etc.


    I am sure it wil become clearer as we get closer to the the start of March




  • From what I understand Dublin Express are going to break with the long held National Express tradition on many of their airport services saying that tickets are valid only for the service they are booked for unless you pay an add-on fee.

    Aircoach currently allow passengers to travel on a later service from Dublin Airport, space permitting, in the event of a flight delay but it's understood that Dublin Express will be allowing passengers to take services a small number of hours either side of their booked time, space permitting which is good news.

    In addition all coaches will be able to be tracked online using a mobile and desktop friendly website with an app likely to follow. I would say it's highly likely that this will be through a system similar to what National Express operates in the UK.




  • devnull wrote: »
    There's currently 5 coaches from 2009 still in the fleet but they are to be replaced in the coming weeks with new deliveries. When that is done the oldest vehicles in the coach fleet will be from 2014.

    For which operator?

    If Aircoach, are these the Jonckheere (i.e. tri-axle) coaches?

    If Dublin Coach, would these be the (ex-Aircoach) Setra Coaches?




  • If Aircoach, are these the Jonckheere (i.e. tri-axle) coaches?

    For Aircoach, there are still officially 5 Jonckheere's in the fleet, although one of them hasn't turned a wheel in service for a couple of weeks now so might alread be finished and actually in practice there may only be 4 of them left.

    There's at least 3 completed new 2020 Plaxton Panthers already in the country at Irish Commercials, but they are awaiting paperwork and registrations to come through and for a few other things to happen.
    If Dublin Coach, would these be the (ex-Aircoach) Setra Coaches?

    The ex Aircoach Setra's are from 2004 and as far as I know there's still a good few of them in service, but some have been withdrawn and a small number were written off or used as parts donors.

    Aircoach fleet on the whole is vastly younger than the Dublin Coach fleet.




  • Aircoach drivers have just rejected latest company changes. Intresting times ahead....

    Its a disgrace Joe!





  • d51984 wrote: »
    Aircoach drivers have just rejected latest company changes. Intresting times ahead....

    So what you are saying is SIPTU are going to hold a ballot for industrial action?

    Not sure if it is going to do too much though, if First want to sell all or part of Aircoach, then at the end of the day no driver is going to be able to stop that since it's a decision made by management of First at the end of the day. It's not a company that makes it's decisions based on the opinions of a committee of operational staff.

    Might make things interesting for people who remain with the company and spending their days driving on the 'Dublin City Direct' services, which the more eagle eyed of you might have noticed is the Aircoach tagline on their last social media post, which may be a hint of the changes to come, though.

    On the other hand nothing might not happen, the Aircoach job listed on the First careers site might be filled and they'll just come under increasing competitive pressure and sell out later rather than sooner.




  • So much talk going around last few days, deals off now apparently.

    Its a disgrace Joe!





  • d51984 wrote:
    So much talk going around last few days, deals off now apparently.


    Please clarify, NX or Aircoach?




  • Aircoach now sending emails to existing customers, offering them rewards for being a loyal customers, which clearly is not influenced at all by forthcoming additional competition. :rolleyes:

    The email has a voucher code for 50% off return trips to Dublin Airport and also 10% off Airport Shopping at The Loop.

    It also confirms that Aircoach stop changes are taking place from 3rd March but the services will remain 24 hours and up to every 15 mins.

    Seems to be the opening salvo in what is to be no doubt plenty of special offers and changes as operators try and compete with each other.


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  • devnull wrote: »
    Aircoach now emailing existing customers to thank them with a special offer of 50% off return tickets and 10% off at The Loop, Dublin Airport.

    Confirmation also that Aircoach stop changes are from 3rd March.

    Was that on Facebook? They have zero updates on their website. The tab on their homepage formerly called 'Latest News' has been renamed to 'Service Status' but the last message concerns a farmer's protest on Jan. 15th. And the FAQ section 'Where does Aircoach pickup at Dublin airport' still says they're moving to Zone 11 on March 4th.

    I'm not surprised they're offering 50% discounts, their move (which I only know about thanks to this thread and devnull) and the lack of information about what's happening with their services has me already checking out the Airlink service.




  • Offer is emailed to existing customers that have registered with them and the info regarding new bus stop locations is on the email also




  • coylemj wrote: »
    Was that on Facebook? They have zero updates on their website. The tab on their homepage formerly called 'Latest News' has been renamed to 'Service Status' but the last message concerns a farmer's protest on Jan. 15th. And the FAQ section 'Where does Aircoach pickup at Dublin airport' still says they're moving to Zone 11 on March 4th.

    I'm not surprised they're offering 50% discounts, their move (which I only know about thanks to this thread and devnull) and the lack of information about what's happening with their services has me already checking out the Airlink service.

    https://twitter.com/Aircoach/status/1228367894347735042




  • It's crazy to put that on Twitter and not on their website. I follow them on Twitter but that notice probably whizzed by when I clicked to update my Twitter feed. And these days, Twitter periodically updates your feed automatically (PITA) so you 'd have to manually go back to see tweets that were scrolled past.




  • First Dublin Express coach spotted in the wild:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/darren_hall/49525952953/in/photolist-GT4PDu-2isrsmz-dAwASj-d6kGHh-L7pJNn-61KnRT-61PyUo-HWTC6Y-JsqcEo-tVLjSR-HWSBWw-4FCj5u-e2WGAL-tSCXSK-7PzLrc-otKydV-7MsLHP-CpSTEf-qbYPTW-bUt2Ku-bjVSX3-zS7Bki-7hb6tY-zD69V1-phQbTU-raBJuu-pErbrr-2ic4EoJ-97X99k-buuwhP-cqLUtu-2hJhQSr-kJRFBC-cNrxzm-kkNHjv-cteqWf-fBU33L-9wa9mY-9SckSc-KTdLfG-2gizAQv-cCtJhJ-eo1t5-24hoJYE-2gizAVa-eoaAw-7o3xGM-7iYxvb-dqkJaw-cnp4v7

    Have to say that the destinatination display in the front window looks literally like an afterthought, it look like the coach never had one by default and someones just slung any one they could find in there. The white around it really doesn't help, if it was black it would look far less bad.

    For a coach that has just been repainted it doesn't exactly look gleaming either.




  • devnull wrote: »
    First Dublin Express coach spotted in the wild:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/darren_hall/49525952953/in/photolist-GT4PDu-2isrsmz-dAwASj-d6kGHh-L7pJNn-61KnRT-61PyUo-HWTC6Y-JsqcEo-tVLjSR-HWSBWw-4FCj5u-e2WGAL-tSCXSK-7PzLrc-otKydV-7MsLHP-CpSTEf-qbYPTW-bUt2Ku-bjVSX3-zS7Bki-7hb6tY-zD69V1-phQbTU-raBJuu-pErbrr-2ic4EoJ-97X99k-buuwhP-cqLUtu-2hJhQSr-kJRFBC-cNrxzm-kkNHjv-cteqWf-fBU33L-9wa9mY-9SckSc-KTdLfG-2gizAQv-cCtJhJ-eo1t5-24hoJYE-2gizAVa-eoaAw-7o3xGM-7iYxvb-dqkJaw-cnp4v7

    Have to say that the destinatination display in the front window looks literally like an afterthought, it look like the coach never had one by default and someones just slung any one they could find in there. The white around it really doesn't help, if it was black it would look far less bad.

    For a coach that has just been repainted it doesn't exactly look gleaming either.

    Many of these `Coachie` style commuter operations have historically struggled with the concept of a Destination display.

    Over many decades the old CIE/Bus Eireann Paper Slip was sufficient to (often subtly) advertise one's destination to an intending passenger.
    Even today,as we near the pinnacle of modern,high tech infrastructure overseen by a new,and very tech driven National Transport Authority,we see (or don't see) expensive high-power / Hi-Visibility Electronic Displays installed directly behind some of the darkest tited glass screens in production....take a bow VDL/NTA/Bus Eireann/GAI etc etc.
    It should also be borne in mind,that once installed,it is highly unlikely that the destination screen glass will EVER be cleaned again,as few,if any Bus & Coach Bodybuilders provide for access between the display and the screen through which the intending passengers attempts to view it.

    My own experience has shown that Destination info,with clear high-contrast typeface,diaplayed in the appropriate location,often specific to the vehicle type was most appreciated,something which the low-tech Paper Slip often fulfilled best.

    It seems a phenomenal lost opportunity,in the GPS/AVL era not to utilise the full potential of the available tech,however in an era when young Transport Operation Graduates increasingly are taught to look to the Retail/Banking and "Service" industries for inspiration,rather than accquiring direct platform experience,it cannot be surprising ?


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)





  • devnull wrote: »
    First Dublin Express coach spotted in the wild:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/darren_hall/49525952953/in/photolist-GT4PDu-2isrsmz-dAwASj-d6kGHh-L7pJNn-61KnRT-61PyUo-HWTC6Y-JsqcEo-tVLjSR-HWSBWw-4FCj5u-e2WGAL-tSCXSK-7PzLrc-otKydV-7MsLHP-CpSTEf-qbYPTW-bUt2Ku-bjVSX3-zS7Bki-7hb6tY-zD69V1-phQbTU-raBJuu-pErbrr-2ic4EoJ-97X99k-buuwhP-cqLUtu-2hJhQSr-kJRFBC-cNrxzm-kkNHjv-cteqWf-fBU33L-9wa9mY-9SckSc-KTdLfG-2gizAQv-cCtJhJ-eo1t5-24hoJYE-2gizAVa-eoaAw-7o3xGM-7iYxvb-dqkJaw-cnp4v7

    Have to say that the destinatination display in the front window looks literally like an afterthought, it look like the coach never had one by default and someones just slung any one they could find in there. The white around it really doesn't help, if it was black it would look far less bad.

    For a coach that has just been repainted it doesn't exactly look gleaming either.

    Doesn't exactly scream great service if you saw that pull up :pac:

    Still, as long as the price is cheap and the service is reliable then it won't matter too much. I do find the Aircoaches very comfortable (especially vs the Airlink) but it wouldn't be a deal breaker to pay more for.

    Any updates on the other potential routes starting up soon? The Clare Hall one would be a godsend.




  • devnull wrote: »
    First three National Express routes expected to be
    1) Dublin Airport T1 -> Dubin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay -> Smithfield
    2) Dublin Airport T1 -> Dublin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay
    3) Dublin Airport T1 -> Dublin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay -> Merrion Square

    Route numbers are:
    782 - Dublin Airport T1 -> Dubin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay -> Smithfield
    783 - Dublin Airport T1 -> Dublin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay
    784 - Dublin Airport T1 -> Dublin Airport T2 -> Custom House Quay -> Merrion Square

    Some more info on these routes:
    - All three routes start on 3rd March 2020
    - All routes will operate 24 hours a day
    - All routes will run every hour, giving a 20 minute combined frequency.
    - Higher frequency said to be likely to follow later depending on demand.

    The top post has now been updated.




  • coylemj wrote: »
    Was that on Facebook? They have zero updates on their website. The tab on their homepage formerly called 'Latest News' has been renamed to 'Service Status' but the last message concerns a farmer's protest on Jan. 15th. And the FAQ section 'Where does Aircoach pickup at Dublin airport' still says they're moving to Zone 11 on March 4th.

    I'm not surprised they're offering 50% discounts, their move (which I only know about thanks to this thread and devnull) and the lack of information about what's happening with their services has me already checking out the Airlink service.

    There's now a massive graphic on their homepage, but not any real details of where Zone 11 is and honestly even where they used the map, a lot of people on social media are still confused, which doesn't bode well!


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  • Aircoach Update.

    Aircoach will only set down and pick up from Zone 11 from March 3rd.

    More details can be found on the new page on the Aircoach site.
    https://aircoach.ie/were-move


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