The impact of the Coronavirus has decimated the Coach and Bus sector, with the complete collapse of International and Domestic Tourism, one of the main sources of revenue which sustains operator cash flow throughout the year. In addition, the drastic reduction of passenger numbers on scheduled commercial services and the projected long-term school closures, means the industry is bereft of revenue streams.
The impact on the sector is profound, with thousands of employees laid off and the prospect that many operators will go out of business.
Kevin Traynor, National Director of the Coach Tourism & Transport Council stated that this industry as a vital conduit and a vital lifeline to Rural Communities, SME’s and Tourism Hubs. “If the industry is to survive and employment in the sector is to be sustained, then immediate government action in needed on the following:
- An interest-free moratorium for a period of 12 months on repayments for capital expenditure and vehicle financing. This moratorium should not adversely affect the future credit rating of any operator.
- Payment of the school transport contracts for the duration of school closures.
- Provision of Government subsidy to provide working capital to the sector.
- Full payment of Rural Transport and HSE contracts for the duration of the crisis.
- Deregistration of all coaches registered in the first three months of 2020.”