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Darmstadt: Two new “AirLiners” for HEAG

New no. 298, a double-decker Setra S 531 DT, at the press presentation on December 6, 2019 | © HEAG

On 6 December, Darmstadt’s HEAG transport company introduced two new buses for its “AirLiner” feeder line to Frankfurt Airport via the A5 motorway. Both are Setra S 531 DT – numbered 298 and 299.

The history of the AirLiner

Since April 1990, the “AirLiner” is operated by the Darmstadt-based HEAG. HEAG is proud to be one of the first German transport companies to have such an offer especially for air passengers. (Other examples of such a service are the Cologne line 170 from Dom/Hauptbahnhof to Cologne/Bonn airport, the Bonn line “SB 60” from Bonn Central Station via the A 59 also to Cologne/Bonn airport or the airport line of the Hamburg company Jasper to Hamburg Airport.) In 2014, the service had some 160,000 passengers, and 250,000 passengers are expected for 2019. HEAG Managing Director Matthias Kalbfuss (quote): “This represents an increase of 60 percent in just 5 years.”

Today, the “AirLiner” runs every 30 minutes and 365 days a year from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., offering 36 trips per day and in either direction. It is interesting that Deutsche Bahn’s timetable information for the Bonn Hbf-Darmstadt relationship also provides connections via Frankfurt Airport with HEAG’s AirLiner, although the AirLiner is not integrated into the DB fare system.


The new Setra S 531 DT

Of course, the new double deckers meet the Euro VI pollution standard. They also offer a wide range of comfort and safety equipment. Passengers will find 79 comfortable seats with plenty of legroom. And, yes, there are even 16 standing places on the lower deck – which, if possible, should not be used for security reasons. While the general speed limit for the buses is 100 km/h, they have to slow down to a maximum travel speed of just 60 km/h on the highway when passengers are standing in the aisle.

On the lower deck, the new double-deckers offer two four-seat groups, which are of course particularly suitable for families. In all places there are not only LED reading lights, but also USB connectors where passengers can charge electronic devices.

For the luggage of the passengers there is on the one hand a large storage space in the rear of the lower deck, which is loaded from the outside. On the other hand, there is a large luggage rack in the lower deck right opposite of the wide central door. And because “everyone” could approach the luggage that was stored there during the journey, all passengers can also observe the shelf from the upper deck via monitors. Furthermore, HEAG also displays up-to-date information on these monitors.

A wheelchair ramp and a special wheelchair parking space make it also possible for disabled passengers to travel with the AirLiner.

In service on the route

The two new AirLiners start revenue service on 9 December 2019.

Technical data

Type: Setra S 531 DT (in a version specially adapted for the Darmstadt AirLiner) Three-axle engine: Mercedes-Benz OM 471, Euro VI, 375 kW (510 hp) Distance cruise control, lane assistant, turn assist, emergency braking assistant Low-floor entrance with fold-out ramp, wheelchair parking space Passenger seats: 79 seats, total capacity: 95 Length: 13,890 mm Width: 2,550 mm Height: 4,000 mm Single-width door front, double-width door in car center Luggage room in the rear of the lower deck Kerb weight: 18,325 kg Total permissible weight: 26,000 kg First registration December 2019 Internal car numbers: 298 and 299

Previous bus no. 298, a Spanish Irizar i4 Intercity with Scania components | © Christian Marquordt
Setra double-decker buses operate on Darmstadt’s high-speed bus route to Frankfurt Airport for 5 years already | Press Daimler Benz
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