David versus Goliath: German express operator Pinkbus is tiny compared to long-haul giant Flixbus but it offers the cheapest tickets on the busy, non-stop route linking the northern port of Hamburg with Berlin. MARTIN BENSLEY paid just €3.99 each way to travel between the two cities, a ride of just over three hours.

An MAN-powered Neoplan Tourliner provided the journey.

Hamburg’s modern central bus station is grey, bleak and near deserted on this dull Thursday morning at 08:00 but a splash of colour soon comes into sight with the arrival of the Pinkbus express to Berlin.The lilac-liveried MAN-powered Neoplan Tourliner pulls in 10 minutes early for the scheduled 08:15 run which is sandwiched between two of the hourly Flixbus departures from here to the German capital. Twenty mainly young passengers and a few parents with children are there to board it.

Tino Engelmann, CEO of Pinkbus.

Running the route seems hardly profitable, but for Cologne-based Pinkbus this is about gaining a foothold

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers