On Monday morning, Kenyans on social media awakened to a rather interesting news: that officials of the Kenya Airports Authority, the body in charge of Kenya’s aviation facilitiesthat were colluding with other taxi drivers to frighten Uber drivers in the nation’s primary airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
The upgrade, posted on Facebook, by a Debbie D’Costa, went viral with many online commentators lashing out in KAA for the way it had been inconveniencing customers who preferred to use the ride-hailing program to be picked up and dropped out in the airport.
Others have been quick to point out that Uber drivers have had it rough in many airports in the world where taxi associations have an upper hand in regards to airport transfers. Taxis operating in the airport, the key transit hub of East Africa, are usually accredited by KAA and parking space. But, many were not with this second line of argument and that prompted a reaction from KAA in the form of a media statement which was subsequently posted to Facebook.
From the announcement, Kenya Airports Authority notes that it “is in talks with other non-airport enrolled taxi service providers to set a commercial arrangement that’s similar to the existing arrangement with the enrolled providers to officially devote them distance to wait and pick up their customers at our airports.”
However, it is another part of its announcement that seems to have stirred quite a bit anger about social networking: “We nevertheless encourage our customers and airport users to use the officially registered Airport Servers (Yellow Airport Servers) that can be found at different specified waiting and pick-up points within the airport.”
Many were quick to mention that the reason people were resorting to ride-hailing apps like Uber was due to the pricing that is affordable along with their transparency.
KAA is expected to provide the disruption to an update on its talks with new taxi operators in the airport moved but it isn’t lost on anybody that the industry has been caused in by apps.
At least half a dozen trusted now serve Nairobi. There’s Uber a local taxi company that has its own program, which has been around for two years now Little Ride, Taxify Pewin Cabs.