The mobility industry was, by far, the economic sector that suffered the most deeply from the scourge of the coronavirus. The 2020 and 2021 exercises were the biggest challenge in history of practically all the companies related to transport.
A situation that Andre Schwämmlein, CEO and founder of Flixlived from the front line: “They were two terrible years. We are very happy to have overcome a situation with unknown levels of uncertainty. It has been a very complex situation for the entire ecosystem and it is great to see how, at last, we managed to get out”.
[FlixMobility cierra una ronda de financiación de más de 650 millones de dólares]
If nothing prevents it, the summer of 2022 is going to be the moment when the transport sector sees the light at the end of the tunnel. A period that is going to be key for the accounts of the companies. A situation that goes even further in the most powerful segment of Flix: cross-border bus routes. “People are coming back very strong. We are very optimistic for the summer. In many markets we are already above pre-pandemic levels,” explains Schwämmlein.
Practically all the forecasts indicate that, during the coming months, a multitude of tourist records will be broken. Flix’s estimates reflect this. During this summer, is going to put up for sale about 650,000 seats in the almost 190 buses green spaces that will connect the Iberian Peninsula with the rest of Europe to respond to the high demand of passengers who want to make this their summer.
Importance of Spain
“Spain is a very important market for cross-border travel. A segment in which we have a very strong position. Both the routes with Portugal and those destined for northern Europe are key for us. We have shown that we add a lot of value. Spain is a market that aligns perfectly with our strengths as a company”, details the CEO of Flix.
In addition to bus routes, during the months in which the liberalization of rail passenger transport was launched Flix’s name appeared among the potential stakeholders in participating in the process. A movement that, finally, did not occur.
“We think that the railway market is very interesting. At the moment we have not participated in Spain, but we are sure that it will be a very positive experience for the country. For the moment, Sweden and Germany are our bets in this segment, although as a company we have the ambition to cover Europe. In this sense, buses and trains are not enemies. They are complementary services,” explains Schwämmlein.
Where the company is focused is on strengthening its position in the markets in which it operates. More after the last round of investment closed by Flix. “As a company we started in Germany, but from our beginnings we had the vocation to grow in Europe. Later, the United States has been a natural extension thanks to the fact that they have a highly developed market in the field of buses. After this step, Canada, Turkey, Mexico or Brazil have been our next steps.”
Like the vast majority of mobility segments, after overcoming the pandemic, road passenger transport is leading a race to enter a new era marked by sustainability. A stage that the founder of Flix considers a great opportunity.
“Mainly, we are analyzing three alternative technologies: biogas, electrification and hydrogen. The first one seems to be a great ally to make a rapid transition. We see batteries and hydrogen as robust alternatives in the medium term. but there is still much to develop both in terms of vehicles and charging infrastructure. What is clear to me is that, in the future, the two“, reflects the CEO of Flix.
A technological debate that he considers important but that, in his opinion, does not solve the root of the problem. “Changing the engine of a vehicle will not solve the problem of mobility. Not in the present, much less in the future. We have to work to offer collective solutions that respond to the needs of users to gradually reduce dependence on individual solutions”.
Finally, as a newly created company, Flix has a roadmap that will allow it to establish itself as a top-tier player in the mobility business. A path in which going to the markets could play a role. “Right now, I can’t think of a worse time to become a listed company. That does not mean that in the future it is not a possibility that we can study, we are not doing this to sell the company. The stock market can be part of a natural path, but it will not be in the short term”, concludes Schwämmlein