- On its 50th anniversary, the 5000th NEOPLAN Skyliner is delivered
- With this anniversary coach, Baltour will be setting new standards of comfort in Italy
The NEOPLAN Skyliner has real cause for celebration this year: it marks 50 years of success for the double-decker touring coach that delights clients and passengers alike the world over. And what’s more, at busworld 2017 in Kortrijk, the 5000th NEOPLAN Skyliner was delivered. From now on, the anniversary coach will be used by the Baltour Group, delivering both tourists and locals safely to their destinations, primarily in Italy but also in other European countries. “Baltour have been buying all their buses from MAN for around 20 years now – well in excess of 100 vehicles already. And now its fleet also has the anniversary Skyliner. We are as pleased about it as they are,” says Franco Pedrotti, head of sales for MAN Truck & Bus Italy.
The pure white premium coach catches the eye immediately, and is sure to turn many heads. But it is also what’s inside the NEOPLAN Skyliner that counts: the Euro 6 diesel engine with 500 hp (368 kW) ensures powerful drive, with sufficient dynamic response for any situation. Safety and cost efficiency are guaranteed by the numerous assistance systems, such as the electronic stability program (ESP), the adaptive cruise control (ACC), an emergency brake assist (EBA) and the topography-based MAN EfficientCruise, which includes the EfficientRoll “rolling function”, and light and rain sensors, amongst others, support the driver as much as possible so that they can concentrate fully on the traffic.
For extra safety, especially on long stretches of road, the MAN LGS (Lane Guard System) and the attentiveness assistant stand ready: MAN AttentionGuard minimises the risk of an accident by recognising the first signs of fatigue or loss of concentration and warning the driver. “In long distance coach travel in particular, there can be long stretches of monotonous driving during which the driver becomes fatigued and their concentration lapses. MAN AttentionGuard helps to prevent dangerous situations,” Pedrotti explains.
In order that passengers can travel in comfort, as well as safety, Baltour opted for “Exclusive Plus” seats with centre armrests, which provide comfort and extra space. “That’s a novelty in Italy. Generally speaking, bus operators there cram their vehicles with as many seats as possible,” Pedrotti emphasises. All 64 seats are also fitted with leg rests.
The Italian company’s fleet currently consists of 93 vehicles – 66 of which are MAN or NEOPLAN buses. This year alone, they have added seven NEOPLAN Skyliners and four NEOPLAN Cityliners. Their vehicles make both long and short journeys, travelling up to 1.4 million kilometres in four years. The Baltour Group connects 17 Italian regions and 23 European countries with over 500 destinations, and in doing so transports more than four million passengers per year – some of whom will be travelling in the anniversary coach in the future.