Uber appointed as Prague Airport’s official taxi service
The current contract as official operator of the taxi service at Václav Havel Airport Prague in the Czech Republic expires this month. Who won the tender to become the new official taxi service? Uber.
Uber will guarantee a fixed fare price, quoted in advance, with 24/7 service availability, and a fleet of up to five-year-old mainly upper middle-class cars.
Zbyněk Stanjura, Minister of Finance, discussed the results of the bid:
“The world is changing dynamically, and if we don’t want to be left behind, we have to respond to this development, among other things, by continuously improving our customer service offer. I believe that the new operator of the taxi service will fulfil the airport management expectations they have of them in this regard.”
Passengers arriving at the airport will be able to order a taxi ride using their phone or at kiosks in the arrival halls at both terminals. If arrivals opt to use their mobile, they will not be required to download an application.
As the official taxi service of the airport, Uber is the only provider allowed to await passengers exiting the airport. The driver will quote passengers a fixed price before the journey. This is calculated by its software and cannot be influenced by a changing route or waiting in traffic.
Jakub Puchalský, member of the Prague Airport board of directors, said:
“Taxi service is key for us. In the concession procedure, we emphasized the requirements of passengers, who above all want to know the price in advance. The new taxi operator will provide its services under the constant control of the airport. All rides, even those outside of Prague, must comply with the maximum price regulation.”
Štěpán Šindelář, Uber’s operations manager for the Czech Republic, added:
“The official partnership with Václav Havel Airport is a huge success and a significant milestone for our operation in Czechia. We know how crucial the quality of transport from the airport is, not only for the capital city, but also for the entire Czech Republic. This gives us the opportunity to influence the reputation of our country at the very first contact with foreign visitors, which entails a great commitment that we are ready to take on with the utmost responsibility and care.”
As part of the broader passenger experience, Václav Havel Airport has worked hard to decipher exactly what people want from their taxi service departing into the city. The airport has demonstrated flexibility in their shift towards Uber to meet customers’ evolving expectations.
Article by Jess Brownlow