Phuket Airport taxi turmoil: Grab’s entry drives cabbies to complain

Phuket’s International Airport taxi drivers filed an official criticism about decreased income following the inclusion of Grab as a licensed service on the airport, efficient from final Friday, September 1.
The complaint was submitted by Chukiat Panyawai, President of Phuket Business Car Service Cooperative Limited, to Rewat Areerob, President of Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO), on September 6.
Members of the PPAO Executive board, including Chanjira Srisongkram, head of the PPAO authorized division, have been current on the meeting, together with Worrawit Srisakukammeet, Village Chief of Moo 6 in Mai Khao, representing native taxi drivers.
Chukiat’s cooperative, representing 181 drivers, is facing financial pressure due to Grab’s presence at the airport. They pay substantial concession charges yearly, and drivers are struggling to make enough trips to help their families.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Airport of Thailand (AoT) Phuket decreased charges to 15% of the agreed concession contract as a result of halted tourism. As tourism recovers, concession charges are nearing the unique contract values, creating financial stress for cooperatives.
Chukiat highlighted that beforehand, cooperatives absorbed losses, but the scenario worsened as travellers prefer app-ordered cars over airport taxis. Some days, they haven’t any passengers, regardless of drivers sometimes making three journeys every day.
Chukiat known as on the Minister of Transport to help villagers working as public service drivers. He proposed discussions with AoT Phuket on concession renewal, reported Phuket news.
Phuket Airport’s General Manager, Monchai Tanode, confirmed taxi concessions expired in June, with cooperatives working under momentary extensions. Chukiat requested automated extensions without bidding and reduced concession charges to match app drivers, as residents suffer.
During Secrets at Phuket Airport, AoT President Dr Kerati Kijmanawat confirmed Grab as the primary permitted taxi app service there. He also disclosed that extra taxi app providers utilized to function at the airport, and these applications are being reviewed.
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