Chiang Mai taxi strike continues

CHIANG MAI – Chiang Mai airport has lined up another taxi company to serve passengers as metered taxi operators continue their strike over a 26% increase in monthly parking fees.

The airport was working with Chiang Mai Airport Transport Co to help reduce passenger congestion as the protest entered its second day on Friday, said Wing Cdr Lakchai Chaloeyprach, the airport director.

Commuters can also use song thaew including those at Wing 41 parked outside the airport if no taxis are available, he added.

Operators of 135 metered taxis of Nakhon Lanna Cooperative stopped providing services at the airport on Thursday to protest against Jed Yod Brothers Co.

The company, which holds the concession to provide service at the airport, plans to raise fees for taxi drivers from 7,500 baht to 9,500 baht a month starting in October.

The protesting drivers vowed to continue the strike for six more days.

Nanok Matchimanond, a protest leader, said the fee hike was unfair as the drivers were already affected by rising fuel prices.

Wing Cdr Lakchai said no passengers had been left stranded at the airport due to the protest.

He said airport officials would wait for the drivers and Jed Yod to settle their conflict and indicated that the contract with the firm could be reconsidered.

Chiang Mai airport is operated by Airports of Thailand Plc.