The German low-cost bus service FlixBus is about to launch a domestic service in Belgium. The German company sent a press release inviting journalists to a press conference next week for the official announcement, but a Brussels-Antwerp service is already appearing on its website.
Previously, the company was not allowed to offer the service because it was not a local transport authority. The company has been offering travel between Belgium and cities in other countries for some time. There are stops in 17 Belgian cities Belgium that travel to other cities across Europe.
But so far in-country trips have not been possible. “Three years after FlixBus Belgium began international travel will the company now offer domestic travel for passenger,” the company said in a statement. “FlixBus is the first private company to ever offer longer distance domestic travel in Belgium.”
The company isn’t releasing much more information but told Bruzz that there was “a concession” that allowed them to provide the service. Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts further told the paper that there was an EU cabotage measure that allowed international services to also serve domestic travel as long as the cities were at least 30 kilometres apart.
The only service currently on the FlixBus website available to book is Antwerp-Brussels, at a cost of €3.99. It takes 50 minutes, nearly 20 minutes longer than the train but almost half the price. Additional routes in Belgium are expected to come online by next week.