OXFORD Bus Company is investing £3.5m in a new range of luxury coaches for its Airline service to Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

The major upgrade will see 11 new Mercedes Tourismo coaches on the roads by August.

The significant investment is part of the company’s commitment to introducing the latest technology to its fleet and providing a first-class service to passengers.

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The coaches are fitted with the latest green technology and are 'ultra-low' Euro 6 rated for emissions. Most journeys between Oxford and Heathrow will operate using the 11 new coaches which will be part of an overall fleet of 16 Airline coaches.

The Oxford Times:

Phil Southall, managing director of the Oxford Bus Company, said: “Our Airline luxury coach services between Oxford and Gatwick and Heathrow perform an important offering to our customers. They provide a reliable, comfortable and great-value-for-money way for people to travel to and from Gatwick and Heathrow. .

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“Our investment in upgrading our Airline fleet underpins our commitment to the service and to providing our customers with a first-class service.

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"The new coaches are fantastic and include a lot of the latest technology on the market and make them one of the most modern and luxurious coach services to Heathrow and Gatwick.

The Oxford Times:

“We are proud to also be displaying the Ashmolean Museum livery on two of the coaches, as part of our commitment to helping showcase the wonderful visitor attractions in Oxfordshire. Our team is undergoing staff training with the new coach that has been delivered and we look forward to receiving delivery of the rest of the fleet, adding the liveries to them and introducing them into service.”

As part of the company’s partnership with Experience Oxfordshire it will display special liveries promoting the Ashmolean Museum on two of the new fleet, which runs from Gloucester Green in Oxford. It forms part of the company’s 'commitment to highlighting excellent visitor attractions in the county'.

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The new vehicles will feature luxury seating and a tray table for each passenger to make their journeys as comfortable as possible.

The trays are designed to accommodate laptops and each seat includes a USB charging point and power socket. There will also be monitors on-board, with sat-nav displays to enable passengers to check progress on their journey, just as they would when on an aeroplane. The new coaches also boast free wi-fi, wheelchair access and much improved luggage capacity for passengers’ suitcases and bags.

Susan McCormack, director of public engagement at the Ashmolean said: “We are enormously grateful to our friends at the Oxford Bus Company for giving us the opportunity to showcase some of our treasures outside the museum, and two coaches will be wrapped in pictures of our Egyptian mummies.”