Economic affairs ministry could suspend Flixbus' license

Flixbuses. Source: Flixbus

Flixbus Estonia has proposed opening an international line between Tallinn and Vilnius, Lithuania, but an assessment conducted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM) finds that the company does not have legal basis to offer international passenger transport in the first place.

The Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration has previously turned to MKM to see an agreement made between Estonia and Flixbus, after the company applied for a permit to conduct travel between the capitals of Estonia and Lithuania.

According to data from the economic activity register however, MKM concluded that Flixbus Estonia had not applied for copies of licenses over the last six months, meaning in principle, the company had not technically conducted paid passenger transport.

Therefore, according to MKM, the company did not meet EU requirements, meaning the bus travel service, operating in Estonia as Flixbus Estonia, has not offered services "stably and efficiently".

MKM explained to ERR that while Flixbus Estonia has not offered international transport yet, the company does not meet the requirements for international bus travel in the European market. To offer international travel, the company must have a license and a copy of the license, showing actual operation. Otherwise, the carrier is not permitted to offer international travel.

Katrin Tambur, head of transportation and traffic service at MKM, told ERR: "There are regulations set on the European level, which establish common guidelines for operation on the travel market. Among those is a condition that the company must - after receiving a license - own one or more vehicles, registered in compliance with the country's legislation or in other ways. [The vehicles] must belong to the company or are paid for by installments or on the basis of a rental or lease contract."

MKM issued an injuction to the company to meet the requirements in two months. If Flixbus fails to do so, the Association of Estonian International Road Carriers (ERAA) can repeal the license given to Flixbus Estonia, six months after it had received the license from the ERAA.

Flixbus Estonia has 30 days to appeal the directive given out by Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center).


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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