The history of the Irro company begins with Heinz and Brigitte Irro and an Opel Rekord in 1972. In that year Heinz Irro returned from Volkswagen in Wolfsburg to his hometown Lüchow. His idea: to start a cab company. At that time, there were already five cab companies in Lüchow, so it took some perseverance and ingenuity to establish himself on the market. A rather courageous step, since he was running the entire business from home on top of everything else. But in the following years, the Irro cab company established itself in the Lüchow-Dannenberg district and a few more vehicles were added.
In 1982, a royal blue Mercedes Benz Omnibus 309 was parked in the driveway of the house and opened up completely new possibilities for Heinz Irro. He started to drive the first groups and clubs through Lüchow-Dannenberg and the surrounding area. Simple transfers to club meetings or to the Hanover Fair soon became extended trips with overnight stays and programs. As the radius grew, so did the interest of the Wendlanders and led to the founding of Irro Reisen in 1988. As a tour operator, the family offered day trips to the Baltic Sea or the Harz Mountains as well as international trips to Italy, Austria or France. The Irro family business developed more and more into a pure tour operator.
With the reunification in 1990, the circle of travelers expanded abruptly. Many former GDR citizens from the neighboring districts of Salzwedel, Prignitz or Ludwigslust-Parchim now regularly traveled with Irro Reisen to popular destinations in Western Europe. But also new destinations in Eastern Europe fill from now on the annually published Irro catalog.
For almost 20 years, the Irro family managed the company's fortunes literally from the comfort of their sofa. The family home was also the company headquarters. Radio telephones were installed in every room in order to be able to respond to a cab request at any time and to inform the drivers. So it was not uncommon for ceremonial occasions to be abruptly interrupted by a cab request. And so it was no coincidence that the two children Stefan and Jessica were integrated into the business from the very beginning. Both children were later to lead the fortunes of the company.
In 1991, working from home came to an end and the new company headquarters were opened in Roland-Brandin-Straße 2 in Lüchow. Here there were now enough rooms for offices, cab center and workshop. The growing fleet of vehicles also found sufficient space in this new depot.
In 2002, after 30 years of company history, Irro was already one of the largest and most popular employers in the region. With the transportation of schoolchildren, a further business segment was created during this time. Together with the Lüchow-Schmarsauer Eisenbahn (LSE), Irro ensures that more than 3,000 pupils get to school safely and on time every day.
Both children also returned to their parents' business in adulthood. After completing her tourism training in Salzgitter, Jessica managed the travel agency for many years and in the meantime maintained an office in New York for the targeted acquisition of American tour operators. In 2020, Jessica left her parents' company for Berlin to devote herself to other projects. Stefan also returned to his old home after studying business in Lüneburg and a stay in Australia to take care of scheduling. With his return in 2009, another business segment was created: Irro Charter. At that time still under the name Coach Charter Europe, Stefan and a team of international colleagues started to rent out coaches all over Europe to companies, tour operators or private groups. Thus, over the years, a large network of partner companies and depots throughout Europe was created.
Since 2019, Stefan Irro has taken over the company's fortunes as sole managing director.
The year 2020, as for so many other tourism companies, provided one of the biggest challenges in the company's history. Lockdowns and changing measures to contain the Corona pandemic meant that no coaches were allowed to travel. Much of the business lay idle for months and many colleagues went on short-time work.
However, despite the pandemic, the course for the future was not lost sight of. Thus, Irro 2021 invested in a modern and sustainable washing and maintenance hall for coaches and buses. This hall is already fully designed for the maintenance and cleaning of electric buses. In addition, up to eight apartments for bus drivers were built on top of the wash hall building. With photovoltaic systems on all building roofs, Irro will be able to operate energy-autarkic in the future. Charging infrastructure for the next generation of electrified buses is being planned. Electromobility and changing travel behavior are the two biggest challenges for Irro. The entire company aims to become CO2 neutral by 2023.
In 2022, the company looks back on 50 years of company history and looks forward to a happy anniversary year.