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Aircoach 706X - New Galway to Dublin/Airport route (via Maynooth, Athlone)


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,038 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    It is replacing the Bus Eireann 20/X20 service which is ending on 28 July.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,837 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk

    Sort of, it doesn't serve quiet all the same stops.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,641 ✭✭✭nothing

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    Be interesting to see how the Galway to Dublin corridor plays out now, with Bus Eireann calling it quits and CityLink hoping to gain approval to buy GoBus.

    Could well be that there is only CityLink and Aircoach on the route in a few months time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,249 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    CityLink does serve them, though.

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    Service was officially launched yesterday, first departures on Thurs

    Aircoach, one of Ireland’s long-standing coach and bus operators is delighted to announce the commencement of its brand-new route from Galway to Dublin today (Monday, 26 July). The first service on the new route will be on Thursday 29 July.

    This will be a Galway-city to Dublin Airport and Dublin city centre route –allowing Galwegians to travel in style to and from Ireland’s capital. The new route will run ten daily services – allowing passengers to board from a variety of stops including Galway city, GMIT, Maynooth, Athlone and Ballinasloe.

    With the majority of Ireland’s private coach and bus companies grounding to a halt in March 2020 as the pandemic hit hard, today marks a positive announcement from Aircoach.

    The coach provider is now a national service as it expands its network of intercity routes, which are already operational in Cork, Belfast, Dublin City, Dublin Airport and its suburbs.

    Passengers will be able to hop on board this new route, as Aircoach continues to provide safe, reliable, convenient, and great-value journeys to its new customers. While this year has continued to showcase a particular sense of uncertainty for travel, Aircoach is optimistic about the future with domestic travel increasing and international travel expected to follow suit.

    Commenting on the launch of today’s new Galway route, Dervla McKay, Managing Director of Aircoach said: 

    “We are delighted to officially launch our new route from Galway to Dublin today. Following a year of such uncertainty within the travel industry, our new route will play a key part in creating a sustainable recovery going forward as we re-emerge from many months of national lockdown. The reliability of our service and being able to travel in comfort at an affordable price, as well as providing flexibility with online booking, payment options and great WiFi connectivity are all key deliverables that we will continue to provide on this new route.

    “We are thrilled to have also been joined by such high profile Galway figures – including the Gardiner brothers and the Mayor of Galway – to mark todays launch in Galway city centre. We look forward to welcoming our customers from Galway at this exciting time.”

    Following their performance at todays launch, Michael and Matthew Gardiner commented on this exciting new Aircoach route: 

    “We were absolutely thrilled to be invited to perform at todays launch. This new Aircoach route marks the beginning of a really exciting time for Galway, as it will bring so much convenience to the people of Galway when having to travel to and from Dublin. We are really looking forward to being able to use the service ourselves when travelling to Dublin in the near future.”

    Colette Connolly, Mayor of Galway, conveyed her excitement for this momentous day for Galway noting: 

    “The people of Galway are absolutely thrilled to welcome the launch of todays new route. Following so many months of unease and uncertainty, this new route marks an exciting new beginning for the people of Galway and we look forward to welcoming people to our city and county on this new route. As we look to the future, having key services such as this one will help us to rebuild our tourism and hospitality sector.”

    The launch of todays route will also be in keeping with Government regulations, as Aircoach’s Galway route will operate at 75% capacity. Customers will still be required to wear a face covering onboard each service. Customers will have the option to pre-book their tickets up to two hours in advance of their journey at

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,903 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Airport Hopper are not resuming Maynooth yet, this could get a decent amount of passengers for that sector alone.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Isn’t that exactly what some posters like you wanted for years? Big support on here for the large multinational foreign companies who were only running the local companies out. End result will be a duopoly with zero innovation (it was local companies who introduced free WiFi, toilets, better standard buses, the likes of aircoach only ever copied these services), constantly increasing fares and less jobs as these companies continue to transfer back office roles to the UK.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    My support has always been for public transport as a whole. Personally I've never been one to base things on emotion, public vs private, foreign vs domestic. However I know there are some people who automatically dislike a service based on nothing other than the country of origin or whether it's private or public. That's not me so I'm not doing any kind of celebration, sorry.

    Which local companies did Aircoach run out when they started operating a 24 hour express service to the City Centre, Ballsbridge, Leopardstown, Donnybrook, Sandyford and Greystones which as well as attracting public transport users, managed to get business people and hotel guests that would never normally take public transport out of their cars? Which other operator before Aircoach was interested in launching a high frequency 24 hour a day service between Dublin and the two other biggest cities in these lands?

    On the subject of innovation, Aircoach were the launch customer of Fleet Connect Wifi, which now powers the majority of Wifi services on public transport in this country.. This feature was unveiled at the Bus and Coach Show in 2008 at the RDS at the time that Aircoach had their Jonckheere SHVs delivered. They were also the first operator to offer contactless payment in 2008 and the first operator ever to use dual currency contactless payment.

    They were also ahead of the game in 2003 offering the most premium coach brand vehicles leather seats, tray tables and 44 seats in a coach that normally seated 53 seats to provide extra leg-room and on bus displays and they held those high standards for a best part of a decade. I would say now however, that the coaches that they operate are certainly a step down from what was delivered between 2003 and 2010. I would give you that Aircoach were late to add toilets though. That was one of the big issues when the Cork non stop route launched.

    In relation to back office roles being transferred to the UK, what exactly are these roles which you claim are not here?

    Post edited by devnull on

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,249 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble


    Like BusLink who introduced a decent service to Athenry (and are still running the only nightlink in the entire county), when all BE could manage was a poxy one or two buses a day.

    Or Burkes who vastly increased the services to/from Tuam and Headford. Or Healys / Loughrea. Or Brendan Boyle / Lackagh and now Roscommon.

    Mutli-nationals, I tell ya.

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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    From their social media stories, it looks like Aircoach have paid to cover the entrance to Galway Coach station with advertising with more inside.

    Meanwhile TFI have released a statement in relation to the Galway to Dublin corridor here.

    The Bus Éireann Route 20/X20 between Galway and Dublin is to be discontinued as and from Thursday July 29th.

    This follows on from the announcement made by the company on 28th September 2020 on its plans to rationalise some of its non-subsidised commercial services.

    However the NTA has granted a licence for Route 706/ 706X, a new commercial service operated by Aircoach, which will commence on July 29th, maintaining connectivity between Galway, Dublin and Dublin Airport, along with intermediate communities. There will be 10 departures each way, seven days a week.

    Bus Éireann’s 20/X20 is a commercial service operated by the company under licence, and is not subsidised by the National Transport Authority. In these cases, NTA has no powers to refuse an application from an operator to reduce or withdraw services on a commercial route.

    The NTA is however, responsible for securing the provision of subsidised public passenger transport services nationally. These services are delivered through public service obligation (PSO) contracts between the NTA and various public transport operators.

    In circumstances like this, where a commercial operator ceases or curtails services, the NTA examines whether a PSO exists to provide socially necessary but commercially unviable public transport services, in their place. Such examination includes an assessment of the demand for public transport services and options to either re-configure existing PSO services including Local Link services, or to competitively tender for the provision of services.

    From July 29th, the Galway to Dublin intercity corridor will be served by the following main public transport services:

    - Irish Rail Galway-Athlone-Dublin Heuston via intermediate stations

    - Aircoach Route 706/ 706X: Galway, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Maynooth, Dublin and Dublin Airport

    - GoBus Route 720: Galway-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Direct Express Service

    - Citylink Routes 660/760/761: Galway-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Direct Express Service

    - Citylink Route 763: Galway-Ballinasloe-Athlone-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Multi-stop service via intermediate locations

    - Healybus Route 920: Galway-Loughrea

    In this context, and having examined the Galway to Dublin corridor in detail, the NTA has determined that the removal of the Routes 20/X20 service will have very limited impact and no interventions are proposed at this time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,767 ✭✭✭roosterman71

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,903 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    SF know that they have no influence on this. No politician has.

    Paper doesn't refuse ink, particularly local papers at this stage.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    It's interesting that Sinn Fein do not wish to point out that those effected in Maynooth, Athlone and Ballinasloe especially still will have a good service from both Aircoach and Citylink and the other places will continue to be served by Citylink and instead act like they do not exist and people have no bus service at all.

    It's almost like they are more interested in scoring a political point and stirring up maximum outrage in the local public for political gain than actually helping out those who are affected by these changes by pointing out how they can get to/from work, to see their family etc in future through alternative providers.

    We also know that petitions are nowhere near representative of people who actually use the services, so generally on something like this I doubt anyone will pay much attention to them.

    Post edited by devnull on

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,476 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull

    Has anyone seen what the loads are like on this route so far?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,013 ✭✭✭TimHorton

    Used this last Week, The Bus was blocked at the Maynooth 67 Stop for almost 10 mins by a Dublin Bus C4 that was parked up, The Aircoach driver says it happens all the time - It was a pathetic scene with both drivers arguing and genuinely frightened passengers looking at the "Road Rage" Incident..

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,016 ✭✭✭p_haugh

    There should really be a stop there facing the road for passing coach services, wild that passing coaches have to share space with a layby/turning loop all in one

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,903 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    That stop could get hideously crowded in the mornings when the Hopper was running at full frequency; and now that there are larger BÉ vehicles on a lot of routes there is a need to extend it.

    The W8 that was meant to replace the final stage of the C4 is to use a different terminus at Moyglare Hall but its not certain the C4/C6 will cease then.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,016 ✭✭✭p_haugh

    C4 might cease, I'd imagine the C6 would continue to terminate there however

  • Registered Users Posts: 294 ✭✭TranslatorPS

    It's a bit of an old question to respond to, but when I'd travelled in mid-October on the all-stopping services (to see what the service and route is like), there was a far bit of loading - not a whole lot out of Galway nor Dublin, but a few out of Ballinasloe eastbound on the 8.15 ex Galway, and nearly a dozen out of Maynooth westbound on the 15.55 ex D/Airport (16.30 ex City). On the other hand, when I travelled on the 3.30 ex Galway in mid-November, I essentially got a €17 coach-sized taxi to Dublin Airport - just myself and the driver (and the only reason why I chose this was because it was the last arriving service into Dublin Airport before 7am between the three express-service companies, which with a 6.05 arrival is somewhat disappointing when you have a 9.30ish flight).

    Based on those three experiences, I do doubt that the route as a whole is breaking even - individual trips might be, but I doubt entire operating days are.

    Thankfully that wouldn't conflict with the 706 of all routes, as all of those services are scheduled to serve Maynooth between 8.45 and 19.30, and with the C6 being a night route... ;)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,639 ✭✭✭Polar101

    Yeah, the Maynooth stop doesn't really work as you can even see on Google Street View.. you can see this BE bus used the cycle lane instead of the coach stop (which is the stop on the right).

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,038 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Just to add that the 115 (pictured) doesn’t need to turn there. The Aircoach does unfortunately.

    It comes down and back from the M4.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,013 ✭✭✭TimHorton

    Yes, The C4 was just parked up and it's not a stop on that route according to the Aircoach Driver.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,038 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    The Aircoach driver was wrong.

    It is the C4 terminus.

    The C4 is what used to be the 67 FYI.

    Post edited by LXFlyer on

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,195 ✭✭✭dublinman1990

    The photo of that bus stop in Maynooth above should be a big example of why bad planning & design should never be considered in this country again. The layout of it is just terrible. The big wide outer footpath is making that bus stop a very unsuitable space for buses to pass out each other in a safe manner.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,788 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3

    Happens all the time with BE buses. Cycling lane there is a complete and utter waste of time and money.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,106 ✭✭✭TomOnBoard

    In its original statement, NTI said:

    "In this context, and having examined the Galway to Dublin corridor in detail, the NTA has determined that the removal of the Routes 20/X20 service will have very limited impact and no interventions are proposed at this time."

    Well, that's all fine and dandy... except for the fact that Aircoach will not accept the free travel pass to book a place on the route, which means that OAPs and those with disabilities are now reliant on just one operator.

    Aircoach should be forced to honour the free travel pass fully as a condition of their license.