With the entry into service of a pair of 12.2m vehicles, Mercedes-Benz’s Euro 6 Citaro has made its UK service debut.
The two-door vehicles, with an offside luggage rack, buggy and wheelchair space and mobility-impaired seating, have started work on Bristol Airport’s long-stay parking shuttle. .
The first Euro 6 Citaros to enter service in the UK, they join two Citaro G artics and three Citaro 12m buses, new to the airport in 2007.
Next year sees the start of a fleet replacement programme, with the three rigids being replaced.
While the Citaro artic is not yet available in right-hand drive, this could change if a hoped-for major order is secured in Japan, and Bristol Airport says it is keen to buy Euro 6 artics.
All the car parking is run in-house by the airport, and the long-stay has valet parking, with only a seven-minute shuttle bus ride for passengers from the doors of the departure area at the main terminal.
The new buses are also fitted with audio-visual passenger information and next-stop systems, full CCTV and real-time tracking, communications systems and telematics.
Handling 6.1m passengers in 2013, a 3.6% increase on 2012, Bristol is the ninth largest airport in the UK and the fifth largest outside of London.
Keen to keep pace with the growing customer base without compromising its reputation for offering passengers a superior travel experience, the management team at Bristol Airport constantly reviews investment requirements.
Pete Downes, Head of Commercial Ground Transportation, says: â€œBristol Airport’s official onsite car parks score 96% in independent customer satisfaction surveys and transport to and from the terminal plays a key part.
â€œMercedes-Benz vehicles have been helping us to deliver this standard for the past seven years, and the Euro 6 Citaros were the only buses we evaluated which offered a level of quality consistent with our aspiration to make the passenger experience even better.â€
Picture shows the handover of UK’s first Euro 6 Citaros outside the main terminal building