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davidjohnson6
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Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:47 pm

I live in Europe, and whenever the aircraft for a flight is at a remote stand, the bus taking pax between aircraft and terminal is almost always manufactured by Cobus, a company based in Germany

I realise for a bus manufacturer, this is a niche area, but why do Cobus have such high market share of airside buses for bulk passenger transport ? It doesn't seem like a particularly demanding design requirement for a bus manufacturer... so wondering why other companies's buses are rarely seen airside
 
seansasLCY
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:10 pm

Some others are used. Neoplan are used at some airports. I’ve seen them in Malta. I remember when London sold off their “bendy buses” it was also said they were going to Malta Airport.

I’m Sweden, Swedavia have some Volvo buses used for airside transfers.
 
ScottB
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:35 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
I realise for a bus manufacturer, this is a niche area, but why do Cobus have such high market share of airside buses for bulk passenger transport ? It doesn't seem like a particularly demanding design requirement for a bus manufacturer... so wondering why other companies's buses are rarely seen airside


I'd imagine you identified it already -- it's a niche market. The Cobus 3000 is a fair bit wider than your typical city bus or motorcoach, and it's designed with far more standing/luggage space than a typical bus. Other companies aren't likely to compete aggressively in the space just because the market is so small; I'd be surprised if they sold more than a couple hundred a year.
 
shamrock137
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:20 pm

ScottB wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
I realise for a bus manufacturer, this is a niche area, but why do Cobus have such high market share of airside buses for bulk passenger transport ? It doesn't seem like a particularly demanding design requirement for a bus manufacturer... so wondering why other companies's buses are rarely seen airside


I'd imagine you identified it already -- it's a niche market. The Cobus 3000 is a fair bit wider than your typical city bus or motorcoach, and it's designed with far more standing/luggage space than a typical bus. Other companies aren't likely to compete aggressively in the space just because the market is so small; I'd be surprised if they sold more than a couple hundred a year.


This might be a good thread for Tech Ops. A Cobus might look the same as a city bus, but they actually pack a bunch of features that make it pretty specialized. They are very low to the ground. Unlike a city bus which has to navigate potholes, bumpy roads, or snow in cold climates, a Cobus will only be used on the airport, which is surface wise is much better maintained then a city road. This allows them to be loaded faster since its a smaller step up into the bus. They also have way more doors, a 45ft Cobus 3000 has 6 doors, 3 on each side. A 40ft city bus would have 2. There are also no steps inside a Cobus. the floor is completely flat from front to rear. Most busses have steps in the rear. This again adds to it being much faster to load and unload. Lastly, and this is country / airport specific, but a Cobus can be ordered with a completly separate driver cab, where the driver has no access to the passenger compartment. This is important in some countries that have specific rules about airport employees interacting with customers arriving from foreign countries.

Could another manufacturer make a bus just like this? Sure, but the return on investment for producing such a specialized product would probably be pretty low if your main focus is on manufacturing normal city busses.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:22 pm

Its a tiny market.

Per Cobus fact sheet, in 38 years, they have manufactured mere 4,550 buses!

https://www.cobus-industries.de/company/

Not many other companies will dedicate resources to chasing such a small global market.
 
CMA727
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:18 pm

Cobus buses are also used in MEX.
 
AAtakeMeAway
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:56 am

I think they use them in AUS for DFW diversion events
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:10 am

Outside of Europe you will find that Chinese made ones are replacing a lot of the older Cobuses and Neoplans.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:29 am

Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?
 
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452QX
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:41 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?


SEA has a small Cobus fleet for hardstand flights. There’s usually only a few flights a day from hardstands but that number can skyrocket during busy periods
 
adipasqu
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:45 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?


They are probably long gone now, but I distinctly remember riding Cobus low floor busses airside between Concourses B and C in CVG back in the early 00's.
 
jjbiv
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:02 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?

LAX from their remote terminal.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:18 am

Seems like I've seen CoBus' at US ski areas, too.
 
airlinepeanuts
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:20 am

SEA has Cobus buses as well. I believe Cobus is a division of or at least affiliated with Mercedes Benz.
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:08 am

AMS now has a fully electric bus fleet of BYO buses from China

I remember riding some kind of replica Cobus variant in THR. I believe it was a Chinese brand but the styling inside and the logo looked just like Cobus, maybe like a bootleg version..
 
N766UA
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:24 am

They used to have COBUS 3000’s at CVG. I believe they could only turn left, though.
 
EL-AL
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:06 am

Surprisingly in Frankfurt Germany, which looks like the natural Cobus-land, they are using mostly articulated Mercedes Citaro buses to transport passengers. But yes indeed, Cobus 3000 is the most common airport bus to be found. Those buses are lower and wider than regular city buses therefore can only be used in airports, thus the small market. In Tel Aviv, Neoplan airport buses replaced with Cobus since 2010, pre-covid Tel Aviv city buses (usually MAN NL-263) were used in peak days. I was always wondering why articulated buses aren't in winder use in airports.
 
LH526
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:43 am

EL-AL wrote:
Surprisingly in Frankfurt Germany, which looks like the natural Cobus-land, they are using mostly articulated Mercedes Citaro buses to transport passengers. But yes indeed, Cobus 3000 is the most common airport bus to be found. Those buses are lower and wider than regular city buses therefore can only be used in airports, thus the small market. In Tel Aviv, Neoplan airport buses replaced with Cobus since 2010, pre-covid Tel Aviv city buses (usually MAN NL-263) were used in peak days. I was always wondering why articulated buses aren't in winder use in airports.


FRA uses normal Buses with registration / Zulassung, allowing them to be used off-airport on open roads. Cobuses due to their construction / size, etc are mostly used on airport ramps only and so don't need any sort of legal vehicle registration for use on public roads.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 10:58 am

N766UA wrote:
They used to have COBUS 3000’s at CVG. I believe they could only turn left, though.

How and why.
 
FlyingHonu001
Posts: 633
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:00 am

CrimsonNL wrote:
AMS now has a fully electric bus fleet of BYO buses from China

I remember riding some kind of replica Cobus variant in THR. I believe it was a Chinese brand but the styling inside and the logo looked just like Cobus, maybe like a bootleg version..


Thats BYD, if anyones curious...
https://bydeurope.com/article/214
 
ly7e7
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:19 am

shamrock137 wrote:
ScottB wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
I realise for a bus manufacturer, this is a niche area, but why do Cobus have such high market share of airside buses for bulk passenger transport ? It doesn't seem like a particularly demanding design requirement for a bus manufacturer... so wondering why other companies's buses are rarely seen airside


I'd imagine you identified it already -- it's a niche market. The Cobus 3000 is a fair bit wider than your typical city bus or motorcoach, and it's designed with far more standing/luggage space than a typical bus. Other companies aren't likely to compete aggressively in the space just because the market is so small; I'd be surprised if they sold more than a couple hundred a year.


This might be a good thread for Tech Ops. A Cobus might look the same as a city bus, but they actually pack a bunch of features that make it pretty specialized. They are very low to the ground. Unlike a city bus which has to navigate potholes, bumpy roads, or snow in cold climates, a Cobus will only be used on the airport, which is surface wise is much better maintained then a city road. This allows them to be loaded faster since its a smaller step up into the bus. They also have way more doors, a 45ft Cobus 3000 has 6 doors, 3 on each side. A 40ft city bus would have 2. There are also no steps inside a Cobus. the floor is completely flat from front to rear. Most busses have steps in the rear. This again adds to it being much faster to load and unload. Lastly, and this is country / airport specific, but a Cobus can be ordered with a completly separate driver cab, where the driver has no access to the passenger compartment. This is important in some countries that have specific rules about airport employees interacting with customers arriving from foreign countries.

Could another manufacturer make a bus just like this? Sure, but the return on investment for producing such a specialized product would probably be pretty low if your main focus is on manufacturing normal city busses.


Nice analysis, I'll throw another parameter in - the chassis structure of this bus would be completely different from a city one - since it has to support a much higher weight.
 
harleydriver
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:34 pm

I'm curious what bus manufacture makes the buses for PHL from the main terminal to Terminal F.
 
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ramprat74
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:13 pm

PDX uses Cobus buses for the international arriving passengers. They drive them from the customs facility on the D concourse to the baggage claim area.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:32 pm

harleydriver wrote:
I'm curious what bus manufacture makes the buses for PHL from the main terminal to Terminal F.


I think those are/were Cobus, at least the last time I was there. GeminiJets even made models of the US Airways-liveried buses.
 
casperCA
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:17 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?


Not the US, but YYZ (Toronto) and YVR (Vancouver) also use them.

YYZ has an infield terminal that was built as a temporary facility when Terminal 1 was under construction. It was retained and is used from time to time. The buses are used to provide a shuttle service to one of the main terminals. The infield terminal contains widebody gates.

YVR has remote standards that are used during the summer season when demand for gates is high. Remote stands at YVR are mostly used for widebody international service.

In both cases I think the Cobus buses are ideal. If these were regional flights a "regular" bus would likely be a better fit.
 
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airportugal310
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:43 pm

Rode a COBUS the other day in GVA getting off the UA flight...short little ride to the Customs hall
 
niagara484
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 4:57 pm

AirKevin wrote:
N766UA wrote:
They used to have COBUS 3000’s at CVG. I believe they could only turn left, though.

How and why.


N766UA was joking. The buses at CVG ran on a counter-clockwise loop between B and C so they were mostly turning left on the ramp. But yes, they could turn both right and left as they navigated off the active ramp up to the doors at C.

niagara484
 
harleydriver
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:09 pm

Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:43 pm

niagara484 wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
N766UA wrote:
They used to have COBUS 3000’s at CVG. I believe they could only turn left, though.

How and why.


N766UA was joking. The buses at CVG ran on a counter-clockwise loop between B and C so they were mostly turning left on the ramp. But yes, they could turn both right and left as they navigated off the active ramp up to the doors at C.

niagara484


Are they NASCAR drivers wanna-bees? :goodvibes:
 
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Noris
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:17 pm

seansasLCY wrote:
I remember when London sold off their “bendy buses” it was also said they were going to Malta Airport.


Not strictly on topic, but some of the Arriva bendy buses did end up in Malta, not at the airport, but doing public service work.

Predictably, it didn't end well as the buses were too big for Malta's tight streets and roads. They also had a tendency to burst into flames.

Rgds.
 
superjeff
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:33 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?


Not too many airports in the U.S. have remote boarding. But you do find Cobus products in several cities. PHL uses them between terminals A/B and the American Airlines Commuter terminal F for example.
 
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Kiwirob
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:34 pm

airlinepeanuts wrote:
SEA has Cobus buses as well. I believe Cobus is a division of or at least affiliated with Mercedes Benz.


Cobus is a brand owned by CAETANOBUS, S.A. a Portuguese manufacturer. Unlike a lot of bus manufacturers who mostly build bodies on a chassis supplied by Mercedes, Volvo, Scania (in Europe) these guys build there own chassis which they also supply to bus body builders.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:53 pm

Noris wrote:
They also had a tendency to burst into flames.

How and why.
 
davidjohnson6
Topic Author
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:54 pm

AirKevin wrote:
Noris wrote:
They also had a tendency to burst into flames.

How and why.

Off topic, but here's the answer - you can find more about London's bendy buses catching fire with Google - https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/mar ... port.world
 
JJ777
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:27 pm

Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:34 pm

Very interesting. Here in Brazil remote positions are widely used on all major airports, yet must buses I can remember of were acquired by Infraero on the 2000s' from a local bus manufacturer called Busscar, usually with a Volkswagen drivetrain. Busscar used to be a leading bus manufacturer here in Brazil, especially urban buses, and the model Infraero acquired was very popular among city authorities throughout Brazil. Busscar went bankrupt in 2012 and many cities have switched to more modern models, yet most airports still retain those Busscar buses - even the ones now under private control.

More recently, though, Infraero bought some buses from yet another Brazilian maker, Mascarello. Those new ones, while also based on an urban bus model, seem to have a lower flooring and are more suitable for passengers with carry-on luggage, I guess.
 
ScottB
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Re: Cobus - bus from terminal to aircraft

Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:00 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Does any US airport use remote stand boarding on a daily basis which require use of these buses?


Prior to Covid, Delta was using bus gates at both JFK and LGA. I think they're back to bus boarding for some flights at LGA since one of the old Terminal C concourses has been demolished for replacment, while the old main Terminal D concourse has about four of its gates blocked by a new concourse under construction.

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