Monopoly forces passengers use expensive taxi services

VietNamNet Bridge – Passengers at Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa province complain that they are forced to use high-fee taxi services and they do not have the right to choose the taxi firms they want. Mai Linh Taxi, in turn, complains of discrimination and a monopoly by the airport’s management board.

In early August 2010, Khanh Hoa province’s People’s Committee organized a working session, where provincial leaders met representatives from Mai Linh Taxi Group and Cam Ranh International Airport to consider the complaint by Mai Linh that it bears discriminatory treatment at the airport.

Mai Linh’s representative said that the taxi firm cannot compete in a healthy way with other taxi companys allowed to operate at the airport.

The airport’s management board only allowed Mai Linh to bring two taxis to the airport area to meet passengers. The cars could only park within a set line, while drivers could not get out of cars to carry luggage for passengers. If Mai Linh’s drivers violated the regulations, their cars will be forced to stop running.

“This caused severe damages to Mai Linh and passengers may misunderstand Mai Linh’s services,” the representative claimed.

Meanwhile, two other taxi firms are allowed to greet and carry passenger luggage at the airport.

Mai Linh once lodged a complaint to the Chair of Khanh Hoa province, asking for intervention. Chair Nguyen Chien Thang asked the two sides sit together to discuss the problem to create a healthy competitive environment to best serve clients. However, to date, the problem still has not been settled yet.

When asked why Mai Linh is not allowed to provide unfettered taxi services at the airport, Cam Ranh Airport officials replied that Mai Linh has not signed a franchising contract with the airport.

On September 28, Mai Linh Group had a working session with Cam Ranh Airport. At the meeting, the two sides planned to discuss the franchising contract on Mai Linh’s right to provide taxi services. Contrary to all predictions, Cam Ranh reps did not mention the contract signing and Mai Linh was told to wait until August 2011.

Why did the airport refuse to sign the contract right away? Luong Van Thanh, Director of Cam Ranh International Airport, said that Mai Linh leaders are not cooperative, while their drivers often violated regulations set by the airport.

Thanh revealed that the airport has signed contracts with two other taxi firms, Airport Taxi and Nha Trang Taxi which have enough ability to serve passengers. Therefore, if Mai Linh wants to sign a contract, it needs to wait until August 2011.

Thanh also told Saigon tiep thi newspaper that the airport does not want to sign a contract with Mai Linh for an additional reason. When Cam Ranh Airport became operational, Nha Trang Taxi helped the airport in carrying passengers. As for Airport Taxi Company, 50 percent of the stakes are held by the Central Airport Corporation, while the remaining stakes are held by Cam Ranh Airport staff.

Meanwhile, passengers complain that they want to use Mai Linh’s services, but must use services of others for which they have to pay much higher. For example, passengers pay 170,000 dong to take a 5-8-seat taxi from Nha Trang City to Cam Ranh Airport, while, if going with other taxi firms, they pay 160,000 dong.

Source: Saigon tiep thi


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