The Airports Authority of India (AAI) — a central body that governs civil aviation infrastructure in the country — has partnered with taxi services Ola and Uber to set up booking kiosks at five airports. These kiosks would come up in Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow and Bhubaneshwar. Passengers can hire Ola/Uber taxis from within the aerodromes as opposed to moving out. This will help reduce congestion, and also help taxi aggregators to service customers better.
The alliance will enable drivers to park their vehicles at a designated area inside the airport, thus bringing down the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). Ola announced that it would set up Ola Zones from where cabs can reach passengers within two minutes of being booked. These zones would also serve as designated pick-up/drop points, thus reducing confusion between riders and drivers. Incidentally, Ola had set up its first such-kiosk at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport last year, and is said to have witnessed ”significant traction and uptake from consumers”. ALSO READ: Uber integrates UPI-based payments in partnership with HDFC, Axis Bank
India’s domestic air traffic is growing at 20 percent every year. International traffic too is up 10 percent. Moreover, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Lucknow and Bhubaneshwar form one of the busiest airport grids in the country with nearly 5 million passengers traveling through them every month. “Bringing in leading cab service aggregators like Ola and Uber is a step in the direction of ensuring minimum hassle and better services to air travelers in India,” Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI said in a statement. ALSO READ: Ola scouts for operations head in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; hints at international expansion
Given that the AAI manages over 125 airports, this alliance could be extended to other regions too. It’ll also help break the monopoly of local taxi services that charge extra for an airport pick-up as well as luggage. Organized taxi operators like Uber and Ola will also ensure that passengers don’t have to heckle with drivers to ferry them to their destination. “This partnership is sure to add convenience, accessibility and reliability to the lives of millions of passengers moving in and out of the city,” Saurabh Mishra, Director – Alliances at Ola, stated.