A serious and unexplained incident happened to Lux Express buses going from St. Petersburg to Helsinki at the Russian-Finnish border checkpoint on January 2. The Russian border service didn’t let the vehicles pass the border, passengers had to get to Helsinki on their own or return to St. Petersburg. What makes the situation more complicated is that nobody could explain what was the reason of the incident and, more importantly, what will be going on with Lux Express routes to Finland further.
Estonian Lux Express coach operator runs three daily routes between St. Petersburg and Hesinki. As Russian media reported, on January 2 buses were denied a permission to cross the border. The operator said that buses were returned home claiming 270 passengers were on board. The passengers got to Helsinki on their own or came back to St. Petersburg on the buses.
The reason behind the Russian border service’s move was that Lux Express didn’t have a license to operate between the states. Russia-Finland coach transportation is being regulated by a bilateral government agreement signed by Ministries of transport of both countries. The agreement describes routes, schedule and operating companies and some other terms under which the transportation is being made.
The situation came as a big surprise to the company, LU’s marketing director Sander Lohmus said in a comment with Estonian TV. The manager said that the operator had all needed papers clear and had a right to run services to Helsinki. As St. Petersburg media outlet Fontanka.ru reported, citing the Russian Ministry of tranport materials, the Lux Express has a permission to operate on the St. Petersburg-Helsinki route which expires only on June 1, 2019.
It seems that something has changed, but the company somehow has not been duly informed.
All the routes from St. Petersburg to Estonia and other Baltic countries run without problems on January 2.
Lux Express social network pages are full with questions from passengers who bought tickets to or from Helsinki. The company issued a statement and asked its passengers to monitor its website and social networks pages to be informed if some changes to routes and schedule would follow. Some passengers wrote they had recieved SMS from Lux Express that their trips would be served by another transport company.
All urgent inquiries should be addressed at 8-800-700-73-04 (within Russia) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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