Ongoing innovation, continual improvement, and management of customer-oriented transport are the guidelines which mark the history and present of ALSA.

The western roads of Asturias in the late 19th century bore witness to the birth of our company, which ran the trip from Luarca to Oviedo in 15 hours. A few years later, in 1899, "El Luarca, automóviles de viajeros" cut 8 hours off this journey by using newly acquired steam coaches, the company's first.

At the turn of the 20th century, the company underwent significant changes: technological advances allowed it to replace animal traction first with steam engines and then with internal combustion engines.

The transportation of passengers and goods is of vital importance both for the provision of necessities, as well as for promoting development and social and cultural exchanges between communities.

The western region of Asturias experienced significant economic development. "Automóviles El Luarca" was a part of this economic growth, making its first journey in a petrol-driven coach in June 1916.

Based on its accumulated experience, the company Automóviles Luarca, S.A. (A.L.S.A.) was established in 1923, providing a modern framework for a series of activities related to transport.

The 1960s was a turning point in ALSA's history, seeing significant progress and the start of our company's constant growth.

In 1964, the first international route, Oviedo-Paris-Brussels, was set up, as well as the regular service between Asturias and Madrid. These new incursions allowed its vehicles to reach other points around Europe (Switzerland and Portugal), thereby gradually extending its transport network and reaching a growing number of communities.

The process of internationalization outside Europe began in 1984, with the start of activities in the People's Republic of China. The next step was entry into Morocco, through the awarding of the tender for urban transport management in Marrakesh, obtained in 1999, followed by Agadir and more recently the city of Tangier.

Leading companies in their respective regions (Galicia, Cantabria, and Castile and Leon) were integrated into ALSA during the 1990s. In 1999, ALSA acquired the public company Enatcar Group.

Moving forward to present day, the most important moment for the company was marked by the 2005 merger with the British operator The National Express Group, and more recently the 2007 takeover of the Continental Auto Group, the second national transport operator providing passenger road transport services.

1889
1889
"La Ferrocarrilana", the Luarca stagecoach company and ALSA's first forerunner, is created.
1890
1890
"Luarca Automóviles de Viajeros" is born, with the company's first steam-powered coach.
1916
1916
"Automóviles El Luarca" makes its first trip with a petrol-driven coach.
1923
1923
Automóviles Luarca S.A. (ALSA) is established.
1926
1926
Incorporation of the popular bathtubs as part of the ALSA fleet.
1941
1941
Inauguration of Gijón Bus Station.
1942
1942
The first gasogene bus in circulation after the Civil War.
1956
1956
The aclos arrive at ALSA.
1964
1964
ALSA's first international service: Oviedo - Paris - Brussels. The regular Asturias - Madrid service is established.
1969
1969
The "Picos de Europa" coach, with sleeping berths, makes international trips.
1974
1974
Caravan of Pegaso buses, known as camels due to their peculiar shape resamblance.
1978
1978
The first video systems are installed on the buses.
1984
1984
ALSA begins operations in the People's Republic of China.
1988
1988
The SUPRA Class is inaugurated, the first high-quality passenger road transport service.
1996
1996
It becomes the first Spanish passenger transport company to obtain the ISO 9000 Quality Certificate.
1997
1997
Installation of computer assisted navigation in the buses.
1998
1998
The ALSA cash-card is created. Internet ticket sales.
1999
1999
Takeover of the Enatcar Group.
2000
2000
Management of urban transport in the city of Marrakesh begins.
2001
2001
ALSA begins its first trials on the use of biodiesel in its fleet.
2002
2002
The ALSA website obtains the AENOR Certificate for Good Practice in E-commerce. It is the first company from the transport sector to receive this certificate.
2003
2003
The ALSA Plus loyalty program is created.
2004
2004
ALSA coaches transport guests to the wedding of H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias.
2005
2005
ALSA becomes part of the National Express Group, the leading British train and bus operator.
2006
2006
Installation of Ociobus, the new on-board entertainment system. UNICEF alliance to fund child health programs in Morocco.
2007
2007
Takeover of the group Continental Auto. Launch of the new Supra Class, with on-board WiFi. Incorporation of ticket sales by mobile phone.
2008
2008
Adherence to the Voluntary Commitment System for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
2009
2009
ALSA tickets can now be purchased through the network of laCaixa ATMs.
2010
2010
ALSA begins management of urban transport in the city of Marrakesh.
2011
2011
ALSA begins management of Madrid's official tourist bus within the Madrid City Tour Joint Venture. Presentation of Pequebus, a pioneering project in Spain designed for transporting children under the age of 5.
2012
2012
Implementation of ALSA's Premium service on the Bilbao-Madrid line. Birth of Bus & Fly, the first intermodal product combining bus and air travel in a single ticket.
2013
2013
ALSA and RENFE (Spain's national railway operator) sign an agreement to promote intermodality and the combined use of bus and train. Bilbobus is awarded as Best Urban Transport Company of the year.
2014
2014
ALSA launches urban transport in Tangier, the third Moroccan city in which it operates. ALSA receives the Ground Transport Award Plaque for its contribution to the development and improvement of the sector.

Automóviles Luarca S.A., a 100 year fleet

If you want to know more about the ALSA's history and fleet, check out this book:

Automóviles Luarca S.A., 100 años de flota. (PDF 67Mb)