Aug 13, 2020

National Express suffers as passengers shun public transport

National Express swung to a £60m first-half loss and warned it faced a long and uncertain recovery as customers shunned mass transport during the pandemic. National Express's share price fell by more than 12 per cent in morning trading on Thursday, and has now lost two-thirds of its value this year, as like other transport companies, it has been plunged into uncertainty by the Covid-19 crisis. In normal times, nearly a third of revenue comes from National Express's fleet of North American school buses, but there is a fierce political debate in the US over whether schools can reopen again this autumn as the virus is still spreading in many states. "While some schools have started to go back, the precise restart schedule is frequently changing," National Express said. National Express was insulated by some local authority contracts that were not dependent on ridership numbers and government support, meaning revenue only fell 50 per cent over the lockdown period.

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