DB Arriva business unit
Development in the relevant markets
The environment for European passenger transport improved from spring 2022 onwards due to the decline in Covid-19 infection numbers. Official contact and travel restrictions were gradually loosened or withdrawn across Europe. Restrictions in passenger transport were removed in other European countries somewhat earlier than in Germany. The obligation to wear a mask on passenger transport is not uniformly governed in Europe at present. However, in most countries the obligation to wear a mask in regional and long-distance transport has been completely removed. The aforementioned effects led to an increase in volume sold in the first half of 2022 but the pre-Covid-19 level has still not yet been reached overall.
- According to the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the British government is creating a new public body, Great British Railways (GBR), that will operate and develop the rail network, own the rail infrastructure and receive revenues from fares. The private sector will continue to play an important role through the development and implementation of passenger transport service agreements. The British Department for Transport published a consultation in which the necessary statutory amendments were examined and opinions obtained.
- Members of the RMT trade union voted to take industrial action with strikes at 13 rail transport operators commissioned by the British Department for Transport (for DB Arriva these are Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry) and the infrastructure operator Network Rail. Other trade unions in the rail sector also stepped up their trade union activities. The nationwide strikes took place as part of a dispute over pay and working conditions, in which the British rail industry worked closely with the government and trade unions to implement a reform program to cut costs, improve efficiency and promote recovery.
- The British government announced further funding to support bus services from April to October 2022 in a final Covid-19 support package.
- In addition to extending the Bus Recovery Grant, the British government announced financing packages for the Bus Service Improvement Plan as part of the National Bus Strategy (NBS) to support the transformation of bus services. Operators and local authorities as partners worked together on the bids under the British Support for Infrastructure Project (BSIP).
- The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has continued across Europe, and although some impacts remain, Covid-19 currently has limited impact on operational activity.
- Across Europe, fuel price increases and volatility are a major challenge. This is partially mitigated by indexation of contracts, hedging and pricing, but not fully offset.
- The shortage of drivers and the pressure on wages across Europe continues, and together with general inflation, this creates a difficult environment for 2022. Alternative ways to procure labor or mitigate cost increases continue to be explored.