National Express Group PLC (LON:NEX) today announce that its Spanish and Moroccan division, ALSA, has been awarded a major bus contract in the cities of Rabat, Salé and Temara, Morocco. Rabat is Morocco’s second most populous city and this contract will be ALSA’s largest in the kingdom.
The 500 bus contract is expected to carry 109 million passengers a year across 61 routes. It is initially for 15 years, with an option of a further 7 year extension, with services commencing within a year.
ALSA will operate the contract as the majority shareholder of a joint venture with CityBus, a local transport company. The contract is expected to secure €1 billion of revenue over the life of the contract.
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, said:
“I am delighted we have secured this major new bus contract in Morocco. We have been steadily growing our presence in Morocco as part of our strategy to expand in rapidly growing urban areas, helping to diversify our earnings.”
“It is particularly pleasing that our track record for service excellence in Morocco played a significant part in this successful bid. We hope to build on this success and secure further expansion in the coming years.”
National Express/ALSA’s 20 year history in Morocco
With this award, ALSA becomes the largest transport operator in Morocco.
ALSA’s first Moroccan contract was awarded in 1999 – managing urban transport in Marrakech.
Other cities were subsequently added: Agadir (2010), Tangier (2013) and Khourigba (2015).
With Rabat, ALSA’s Moroccan business will:
· carry around 265 million passengers a year;
· have a fleet of 1,000 buses;
· employ 3,600 people.
National Express growing international presence
With over three-quarters of National Express’ revenues secured abroad, the Group has been significantly growing its international presence in recent years.
In North America, National Express operates nearly 25,000 vehicles in the school bus, transit, para-transit and employee shuttle markets. National Express is the second largest private operator of school buses in North America.
In Spain, National Express is the largest public transport operator, with around 2,500 buses and coaches, carrying around 159 million passengers a year.
National Express has also entered two new countries in recent years:
· National Express has operated the Rhine-Munster Express and Rhine-Wuppertal Bahn in Germany since December 2015. We have been awarded contracts to operate two further contracts to operate the Rhine-Ruhr Express, the first starting in June 2019 and the second in December 2020.
· National Express acquired Alpybus, and ski transfer business in Switzerland at the start of 2016. More recently we have consolidated this presence with a further three acquisitions in the Geneva area, expanding operations beyond ski-transfer and into the tourist and school bus markets.