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Old 23rd February 2012, 17:27   #346
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Default Re: An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered

Guys, we are a bit reluctant to sell this bus.

So you guys have any idea if any travel/tours company would be willing to take our bus on lease... as in operate it for their trips & pay us monthly rental?
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Old 23rd February 2012, 18:51   #347
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Guys, we are a bit reluctant to sell this bus.

So you guys have any idea if any travel/tours company would be willing to take our bus on lease... as in operate it for their trips & pay us monthly rental?
Why is this decision taken?
Not enough demand?
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Old 23rd February 2012, 21:08   #348
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Default Re: An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered

Infact, no demand at all. Not in Allepey atleast.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 22:09   #349
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Default Re: An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered

why don't you club your services with tour operators around area of kottayam,changnacherry and thiruvalla.

i have seen tour operators do this at peak seasons!!

you can also put an ad in the paper for the lease purpose.im sure there will be takers.
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Old 23rd February 2012, 23:12   #350
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Infact, no demand at all. Not in Allepey atleast.
I thought you originally bought the vehicle with the intention that this will be used as both A/c and non AC. If the other two, non AC ones are doing good business, why cant you use it as non-ac all the time? Do you mean there is no demand for 3 buses in Aleppy or there is no demand for AC bus. Did you consider intercity service such as Alleppy - Bangalore instead of selling/leasing?
I think eventually demand for AC buses will pickup, mean time, may be you could work with Tourist bus operators in near by towns.

Last edited by teamveevee : 23rd February 2012 at 23:13.
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Old 24th February 2012, 10:36   #351
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MODS: I hope I am allowed to discuss why we had to take the decision of selling the bus.

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Originally Posted by ariendj View Post
why don't you club your services with tour operators around area of kottayam,changnacherry and thiruvalla.

i have seen tour operators do this at peak seasons!!

you can also put an ad in the paper for the lease purpose.im sure there will be takers.
We did try that. Instead of leasing, operators are willing to 'hire' our buses if they fall short of their own buses. That wont bring us enough revenue.

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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
I thought you originally bought the vehicle with the intention that this will be used as both A/c and non AC. If the other two, non AC ones are doing good business, why cant you use it as non-ac all the time? Do you mean there is no demand for 3 buses in Aleppy or there is no demand for AC bus. Did you consider intercity service such as Alleppy - Bangalore instead of selling/leasing?
I think eventually demand for AC buses will pickup, mean time, may be you could work with Tourist bus operators in near by towns.
Yes, our A/C bus runs on non-A/C trips also. Infact 50% of the trips are non-A/C.

BUT, because of it's powerful engine, fuel efficiency is lower. Also because of its better seats & extra legroom, we cannot charge the same price which other non-A/C bus operators charge. Hence, not many will prefer this bus for non-AC trips.

There is enough demand for our other non-AC buses. Infact good news is that we charge a bit higher than other tour operators for our buses, which some people happily agree to give, considering the condition of our buses when compared to others. But the A/C bus has no trips, for example, in January, it just had 4 trips - 2 A/C & 2 non-A/C.

We did not consider intercity services as of yet as it will require a much better & elaborate setup like permanent night drivers, online booking, separate permit, two A/C buses reserved for this route and the likes...

MOST IMPORTANTLY
, tour operators/agents in Allepey would still prefer a less luxurious 49 seater A/C bus than a luxurious 36 seater A/C bus. We also did consider converting this bus to a 49 seater but that was too much of a hassle. Also, we did ONE mistake of not doing a proper market research, so not intending to doing it again!

Hence, we are thinking of selling this bus & buying one which the market prefers/needs. The Allepey market does not ask for luxury, hence our forthcoming buses would be built with that in mind.
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Old 24th February 2012, 11:17   #352
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
Hence, we are thinking of selling this bus & buying one which the market prefers/needs. The Allepey market does not ask for luxury, hence our forthcoming buses would be built with that in mind.
You might be able to find more takers if you are able to base your bus in Kochi - there are lots of small operators around Kochi who operate package tours to Alappuzha/Kumarakom areas for foreign tourists. May be you could consider something like that.

Alternatively, I've seen some operators running weekend trips to Velankanni - such trips would require the kind of bus you have. May be you can search if there are any travel agencies whom you can tie up with for such a service.
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Old 24th February 2012, 11:37   #353
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You might be able to find more takers if you are able to base your bus in Kochi - there are lots of small operators around Kochi who operate package tours to Alappuzha/Kumarakom areas for foreign tourists. May be you could consider something like that.

Alternatively, I've seen some operators running weekend trips to Velankanni - such trips would require the kind of bus you have. May be you can search if there are any travel agencies whom you can tie up with for such a service.
We did try that. But operating bus from Kochi had a lot of problems - logistics wise & economics wise.

We do have a collaboration with some tour operators for the AC bus. But that is bringing in very little revenue.

When we account for the tax, permit, fuel, service costs, etc., the A/C bus is bringing in loss for us.
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Old 24th February 2012, 11:40   #354
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
When we account for the tax, permit, fuel, service costs, etc., the A/C bus is bringing in loss for us.
In that case, I guess selling the bus would be a better idea. I guess remodeling it to a 49 seater would involve a lot of hassles - hence it would be better to sell this one, and may be look at a Non-AC bus later on.
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Old 24th February 2012, 11:53   #355
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In that case, I guess selling the bus would be a better idea. I guess remodeling it to a 49 seater would involve a lot of hassles - hence it would be better to sell this one, and may be look at a Non-AC bus later on.
That is exactly what we thought.

Infact, this time we are not taking a hurried decision. And whenever we are planning for a new bus, you can expect a new thread from me, like everytime. You guys are of great help.
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Old 24th February 2012, 23:03   #356
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When we account for the tax, permit, fuel, service costs, etc., the A/C bus is bringing in loss for us.
What about the good will? With the title of "A/C and Non A/C bus operator", are you able to bring more customers to your non ac buses, are you able to charge slight premium because of this to your other services. Not sure how much loss you make with the bus, but depending on your future plans, it may be worth keeping it, because i think, in future, most of the so called tourist buses will be air conditioned.
My cousin who is in business (both route buses and tourist buses) sold all his tourist buses, he said, they give him sleepless nights (literally) and it is not worth it even if it makes money. He still has his route buses. One tip he mentioned was, the established tourist bus operators, they redirect single day trips, that comes to them in advance, to the new comers (saying they are helping) and charge huge premium when some one book their bus closer to the trip date (basicaly do not take orders much in advance, saying it is already booked). From their experience they know the pattern, which season they have last minute trips etc. Not sure the same true in Aleppy.
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Old 25th February 2012, 10:44   #357
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Originally Posted by teamveevee View Post
What about the good will? With the title of "A/C and Non A/C bus operator", are you able to bring more customers to your non ac buses, are you able to charge slight premium because of this to your other services. Not sure how much loss you make with the bus, but depending on your future plans, it may be worth keeping it, because i think, in future, most of the so called tourist buses will be air conditioned.
My cousin who is in business (both route buses and tourist buses) sold all his tourist buses, he said, they give him sleepless nights (literally) and it is not worth it even if it makes money. He still has his route buses. One tip he mentioned was, the established tourist bus operators, they redirect single day trips, that comes to them in advance, to the new comers (saying they are helping) and charge huge premium when some one book their bus closer to the trip date (basicaly do not take orders much in advance, saying it is already booked). From their experience they know the pattern, which season they have last minute trips etc. Not sure the same true in Aleppy.
The problem is that the demand for A/C buses in Allepey is REALLY low. Our A/C bus goes on non-A/C trips 50% of it's time, which does not bring any profit. Secondly, most of the operators in Allepey runs second hand old buses (also called as 'pata vandi' in Malayalam!) & we are expected to compete with them.

All in all, whatever profit the non-A/C bus brings us, that is nullified by the A/C bus. I am talking exclusively about Allepey. Of course, things will be different in Cochin.

On the other hand, instead of the A/C bus, if we buy/have other non-A/C buses, that means extra income for us.

Anyways, we are in talks with some operators who would be interested in leasing our bus. If something good works out, then we wont be selling this bus.

P.S.: We have an emotional attachment to our bus & we are not willingly selling it. We are trying for some alternatives wherein we can retain our bus but something good should work out.

Last edited by raj_5004 : 25th February 2012 at 11:04.
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Old 25th February 2012, 17:17   #358
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The problem is that the demand for A/C buses in Allepey is REALLY low.
Raj, How is it that Sky Arch travels operating from Ambalapuzha is adding more and more AC buses in its fleet if the logic of AC buses holds good. Just curious. I agree that Deepa, Sindu, Ganga and others in Alleppey swear by Non AC buses.

BTW Sky Arch also had a Tata 1616 AC bus at some point. Not sure if they still have it
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Old 25th February 2012, 18:01   #359
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Default Re: An AC bus this time! AL Viking BS-III Delivered

Good news friends. We have put the decision of selling off the A/C bus on hold, after a lot of dilly-dallying.

Primary reason why we were selling off the A/C bus was that our bus has a 160 hp engine, which means lower FE compared to our other non-A/C 114 hp buses. So even if we run the A/C bus on non-A/C trips, it was not exactly profitable for us. But now, Ashok Leyland has stopped manufacturing 114 hp & 140 hp buses because of the pollution norms. So even if we sell our bus & buy a new non-A/C Viking, we would get one with the same 160 hp engine, which is equivalent to running our current bus without A/C. So no point in investing in a new bus.

We have got some fresh orders in April & May. So we would be taking a decision by only June since it is the time normally buses lie idle (rainy season).

Till then, we are trying to give a new life to our A/C bus. Talking to various operators regarding tie-ups, lease, etc. and even considering long distance operations. If it clicks, we will be more than happy to retain our bus. Also, we are seriously considering to convert it into a 49 seater. In any case, according to sources, 49 seater A/C has more demand than 36 seater A/C.
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Old 6th February 2013, 23:52   #360
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Originally Posted by SAE40 in veins View Post
BTW Sky Arch also had a Tata 1616 AC bus at some point. Not sure if they still have it
OT: Sky Arch still has TATA buses.
KL 4 U 99 Sutlej body S 800 TATA Contract Carriage AC Bus


They have another S 700 BUS WITH THE SAME REGN NO KL 04 T 99, S 700 AL VIKING 10.8 WITH SLAVE ENGINE

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