Connect with us


PHUKET OPINION: Thanks, but more airport taxis not needed

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The compromise agreement ending the latest dispute between rival taxi concessionaires at Phuket International Airport (PIA) may appease both sides in the short term, but allowing 60 more vans and ‘limousine’ taxis onto airport grounds as the low season sets in will only worsen conditions at the airport in upcoming months.

Airports of Thailand (AOT), which runs the airport, has come under increased scrutiny in recent months for the high rates it charges Phuket Airport Limousine and Business Cooperative Ltd (PBC) and Phuket Mai Khao Sakoo (PMK) for the right to run booking counters inside the arrivals terminal and pick up fares outside the doors.

A public company majority owned by the Ministry of Finance, AOT collects over 2.2 million baht monthly from PBC and PMK and rakes in a bit more from the the Airport Metered Taxi Association, which is allowed to operate its fleet from the parking lot.

Ultimately paying for the unnecessary additional vehicles are Phuket’s tourists, and, to a lesser extent, local residents, to whom the taxi operators pass on the concession fees in the form of higher fares, already the highest in Thailand.

AOT does have big plans for the airport, but as a public company with virtually no competition it enjoys a wide variety of golden revenue streams unimaginable in the private sector.

Where else can you get away with charging 70 baht (US$2.15) for a thumb-sized ‘baby Mars bar’ or a 15-baht can of Coke?

According to the AOT website, the company and its subsidiaries reported total operating revenues of over 6.2 billion baht for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 alone, an increase of more than 20 percent over the same period last year.

Given these figures and the fact that AOT is a public company – majority owned by the people of Thailand – it should consider the sizable negative impact its concession fees are having on the (tourism-based) Phuket economy as a whole.

The issues involved go well beyond economics.

First impressions are important in tourism, and there is nothing more off-putting to the first-time tourist than the shouts and furtive mumblings of hordes of touts in a desperate bid for business.

Sadly, AOT’s decision to add even more vehicles – 30  vans and 30 limousine taxis – will only add to the touts’ numbers as well, further worsening congestion in both the arrivals hall and the parking lot – while doing nothing to bring down fares to reasonable, free-market rates.

AOT’s current expansion plan for PIA, with 5.8 billion baht in Cabinet-approved funding in 2009, aims to expand capacity from 6.5 million to 12.5 million passengers annually.

This is an ambitious figure that will only be attained if AOT plays an important role in helping to ensure that a holiday in Phuket is a positive, value-for-money experience that visitors will want to repeat – and not just an institutionalized ripoff.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket man finds 30 million baht surprise on beach: “whale poop”

Malaysia3 hours ago

Transgender who fled to Thailand faces extradition to Malaysia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Saturday Covid-19 Update: 11,975 infections, 127 deaths

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand21 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand1 day ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand1 day ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand1 day ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia1 day ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather1 day ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime4 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism7 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand5 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok4 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Crime3 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Phuket6 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11