Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today announced that it has supplied four new Plaxton Panther coaches to Reading Buses for a new service to London Heathrow airport.

The Plaxton Panther coaches are wheelchair-accessible with side-mounted lifts. They have been finished to a high standard with wood-effect flooring, comfortable seating and ample legroom, free WiFi and USB charging at all of their 53 passenger seats.

They are dedicated to the recently-established Flightline 730 and 731 route, which is operated by Reading Buses’ subsidiary Newbury & District and provides a comfortable coach link from Basingstoke, Frimley, Camberley, and Bagshot to Heathrow Terminal 5. Aimed at both travellers and staff, it provides an extensive timetable with the first journey arriving at the airport before 4am and the last departure after midnight. The service is a brand-new commercial venture that has been developed with input from Heathrow Airport.

The delivery follows Reading Buses’ introduction earlier in 2023 of seven new, bespoke Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double deckers on its Windsor Express routes. These have included vehicles for the high-profile Flightline 703 service, linking Bracknell, Windsor and Slough to the airport.

Reading Buses Chief Executive Robert Williams said: “Our Newbury & District Flightline 730 and 731 route fills several gaps in the public transport network between key towns on the A30 corridor in north-east Hampshire and north-west Surrey. Alexander Dennis had Plaxton Panther coaches available within the timeframe we needed, which are well suited to the motorway sections of the route and offer plenty of room for luggage.”

Alexander Dennis Regional Sales Manager Mark Taylor added: “The Plaxton Panther is a great vehicle for services like these, offering a flexible platform to combine capacity and accessibility with comfort and reliability. Together with Volvo, who have provided the Panthers’ dependable B8R chassis, we appreciate the opportunity to supply coaches to Newbury & District and look forward to supporting their operation.”