Entrepreneur launches new service to help improve visitor experience

The new ABZ Hotel Hoppa

A NORTH-EAST entrepreneur has stepped up to help improve the visitor experience for tourists and businesspeople jetting into Aberdeen.

Alan Findlater of Premier Coaches has launched a new ‘hopper’ service connecting Aberdeen International Airport with surrounding hotels after meeting an executive who had to wait 90-minutes for a taxi to take him two miles.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Why? Free to subscribe, no paywall, daily business news digest.

Determined to deliver a positive first impression to people arriving in the Granite City, the businessman has invested a five-figure sum of his own money into getting the service operational.

The new ABZ Hotel Hoppa launched on Monday and links the airport with hotels within a two-mile radius, freeing up taxis for longer journeys.

Initially it will run on an ad-hoc basis around peak times, stopping at Hilton Teca, Aloft, Moxy and Hampton by Hilton.

Mr Findlater hopes to scale the service to run every half-hour if there is passenger demand, eventually connecting it with other key landmarks and transport hubs.

“I think we have all heard or read stories about people being left to wait for extended periods to get taxis from the airport at peak times,” he said.

“First impressions really matter – and I want people to people to have a positive first interaction with this region.

“When we looked into the issue further, we found that more than a third of the fairs from the airport are under £15, suggesting that many are travelling to the multitude of surrounding hotels.

“So, if we can serve these passengers with a shuttle service, that potentially frees up taxis to support passengers looking to travel further afield, cutting taxi queues and improving the visitor experience.

“This is not the complete solution, but it is certainly a start, and I am really keen to see this grow.”

Longer-term, Mr Findlater hopes to extend the service to connect the airport with Dyce Railway Station and has already held talks with ScotRail.

He also aspires to increase its frequency so that it runs every 30 minutes and that the buses can be tracked with a digital application.

He would also like to see it support greater connectivity between P&J Live and the airport with a view to increasing visits to the arena.

He added: “All stakeholders have been incredibly positive about the service and feel it is long overdue. 

“It’s great to have the first coach on the road and we hope to see the service grow in the months and years ahead.”

The latest stories