Last month, the Czech Government approved support initiated by the Česmad Bohemia Association, together with the ‘For Buses’ initiative, on the basis of which tour operators will receive one billion crowns from the COVID-BUS programme, writes Milan Olsansky.
The amount of aid will be derived from the emission class of the bus (higher emission class = lower environmental impact = higher purchase price of the bus). Furthermore, the capacity of the bus itself will be taken into account, given the number of seats. Due to the actual freezing of the market until the end of the school year, the decisive period was calculated from 12 March to 30 June 2020.
The Ministry of Transport of Czech Republic assumed that a total of CZK 1 billion (app. €36,000,000) will be provided for this support in 2020. In terms of resources, CZK 0.5 billion is expected to be transferred from the Ministry of Transport and CZK 0.5 billion from unspent funds of the ‘COVID Rent’ program administered by the Ministry of Industry & Trade. The support will be announced, evaluated and reimbursed in the period of the third quarter of 2020. All the necessary information for submitting the application is published on the website of the Ministry of Transport and the media and the social networks will be informed.
These positive negotiations with the Ministry of Transport of Czech Republic have reached a successful conclusion and this support will hopefully help many carriers to survive in the irregular passenger transport. Thanks must also go to the Ministry for their constructive and helpful approach. It is only a partial compensation of their fixed costs, the biggest financial burden remains on the companies. Unfortunately, tour bus operators are currently in the same desperate situation as in the Spring, so further possible support for the sector will be requested. Some form of support must also be designated to operators of scheduled commuter transport.