Red Bus purchases Aaron Travel - More than doubles Red Travel Fleet
Strong projected tourism growth is the key reason for Red Bus Ltd to purchase charter and tourism company Aaron Travel for an undisclosed sum.
Red Bus established Red Travel two years ago as its charter and tourism arm and this recent purchase will more than double the size of Red Travel to approximately 25 vehicles ranging in size from 10-passenger mini-buses to 51-seat luxury passenger tour coaches.
Paul McNoe, CEO of Red Bus, said that the company has been looking to expand its focus and with the strong growth in tourism this was a good strategic fit for the company.
“Aaron Travel is a well-established Christchurch company, having been in the market for 13 years. It has a very solid reputation and strong connections with the expanding Taiwanese and Chinese markets. Order books are strong for the new season,” he said.
All Aaron Travel staff will be included in the shift and Stephen and Candy Ni, who owned Aaron Travel, will stay involved with Red Travel for up to two years.
“We were looking to expand organically and had three new coaches on order for this season. They are still coming, with the possibility of a fourth. With this expansion we may need to look at employing new staff as the season moves into full swing,” he said.
The synergies between the two firms are strong with Aaron Travel specialising in tours, transfers and charters throughout the South Island with Red Travel strong in arranging transfers for corporate events, special events, sport and tour groups with a specialty being the ability to provide shuttles to transfer large groups
“As a traditional urban-based bus operator, Red Bus has been looking to expand our base with the likes of the Akaroa Shuttle, Rebuild Tour and charter work. This follows that philosophy, but on a larger scale,” he said.
The new operation will remain based out of Aaron Tours’ Sawyers Arms Road base in the short term, at least.