A third of small coach companies fear the end of business by March


RDA Industry Barometer August 2020

The results of the RDA Industry Barometer of the coach industry for August 2020 give cause for the greatest concern. An overwhelming proportion of the 728 companies surveyed assess the current business situation as very poor (63%) or rather poor (31%).

With regard to cancellations of Christmas markets and events, the absence of skiing holidays at schools and universities, and the generally cautious booking behavior of consumers, there is hardly any improvement in sight. Almost all of the surveyed companies' business expectations for the next six months are very unfavorable (54%) or rather unfavorable (38%).

90 % of the companies are therefore planning to reduce their operating capacities to the point of complete business shutdown if no additional aid measures or modifications to existing aid programs are implemented in the next six months. One third of the small coach companies with up to 10 employees fear the collapse of their company by March.

More than 40% of all companies surveyed see the reimbursement of the provisioning costs for self-financed coaches as the most necessary modification to maintain business structure. A quarter of the companies and a third of the package tour operators are calling for the consolidation offer to be adjusted in order to be able to provide bridging assistance to all operating units of a combined company up to the monthly maximum limit. 15% of all respondents demand the abolishment of the maximum limits for bridging assistance for small companies with up to 10 employees. Every fourth package tour operator additionally demands the accessibility of KfW fast loans also for small companies.

"If the Federal Government prohibits coach travel in order to contain the infection and all coaches have to stand still for months as a result, all coaches naturally generate provisioning costs, regardless of whether they are externally- or self-financed. Therefore, it is simply wrong and in no way comprehensible that companies with self-financed coaches should not receive assistance. If there are legal hurdles, these must be removed.

Moreover, in view of a long winter, the speed of the outflow of funds from the bridging aid program is frighteningly low. The German government must make improvements and remove the restrictions on branches of a group of companies and the maximum limits for small businesses, so that the funds can flow out as planned, in order to preserve the structures of traditional family businesses, especially in rural areas," commented RDA President Esser.