Citylink outsources routes in €30m deal

COACH operator Citylink Ireland has outsourced the operation of all of its routes to Claregalway-based Callinan Coaches in a five-year deal worth in excess of €30 million. No jobs will be lost. All of Citylink’s drivers will now work with Callinan Coaches.

This contract cements an outsourcing arrangement under which the two companies have been operating for the past six months. Citylink will continue to manage sales and marketing for the routes.

Under this deal, Callinan Coaches will run 15 multi-stop and 14 non-stop each way trips daily between Galway and Dublin, five multi-stop runs each way between Galway and Cork, plus regular daily services between Galway and Clifden, and Galway to and from Shannon Airport. Callinan will carry one million passengers a year on 85 daily Citylink routes.

Citylink’s Singapore-based owners ComfortDelGro, which employs 10,000 people in Britain, Ireland, Singapore, China and Malaysia, insists the move does not dampen its ambitions for the Irish market. Citylink made a marginal profit last year on a turnover of about €6m, while it made a loss of €260,000 on a turnover of €6.2m in 2008.

Citylink managing director, Cathy Cullen, said: “The licences are staying with Citylink. We hope there will be more routes created because of this partnership. We would like to cover all of Ireland, to broaden the network.

“We are now able to concentrate on sales and marketing, building up routes anywhere people want to travel, north and south. When we originally started in 2005, we were essentially a sales and marketing operation. We tried running the coaches side of it for a while, but the last six months with Tommy Callinan have shown us the benefits of outsourcing the running of the coaches.”

Callinan Coaches founder Tommy Callinan’s first plan is to gradually replace Citylink’s current fleet with luxury Volvo 9700 Prestige coaches, complete with toilets and other features. Callinans was named Intercity Coach Operator Of The Year for two years in succession. The company also runs Euroline services to London and Paris.

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