No Lux Express services to St. Petersburg canceled despite license suspension
All scheduled trips on Lux Express' Helsinki-St. Petersburg and Tallinn-St. Petersburg bus routes have continued operating as usual despite the temporary suspension of the international passenger operator's license of ZAO Evrolains, the Russian company of Lux Express Group.
As a temporary measure, the company's buses are transporting passengers to checkpoints on the Russian border, where passengers must then exit the bus to pass border checks and then board a substitute bus.
"While we understand that an arrangement like this causes inconvenience to passengers, we are doing out best in this difficult situation," Lux Express chief sales executive Sander Lõhmus said in a press release. "Our goal is to make sure that holiday season travel can take place as planned and we haven't canceled a single departure. Passengers are assisted at the border checkpoint by bus crews and additional Lux Express employees dispatched there."
Lõhmus noted that the crossing of the border has generally been going smoothly and that there have been no substantial delays.
The temporary suspension of the license concerns only buses belonging to ZAO Evrolains; Lux Express Estonia buses operating the Tallinn-St. Petersburg service are not affeted by the changes.
ZAO Evrolains operates three departures daily on the Helsinki-St. Petersburg route and five daily on the Tallinn-St. Petersburg line.
By Monday evening, Lux Express had received an official notification from Russian authorities that the license of ZAO Evrolains had been temporarily revoked in connection to some shortcomings in the company's operations which, the chief sales executive stressed, did not prevent them from offering a quality and safe carraige service.
The company had been notified on Dec. 26 of some minor shortcomings in its service and was given three months to resolve them, however according to Lõhmus, the suspension of the Russian company's license on Jan. 2 came as a surprise to them.