Mwasalat set to launch airport taxis soon

Fares for airport taxis are expected to be more competitive and less than the current rates as Mwasalat prepares to take over those operations soon.
The company also said it will review the fares of on-demand services at the end of the promotional period on January 31. Speaking to the Observer, Mobbashir Abdul Majeed al Balushi, General Manager, Mwasalat Taxi, said, “The company will take over the airport taxi operations in February. Finishing touches are being given to the vehicles, including installation of electronic meters and navigation devices.”

He said there will be around 100 taxis registered at the airport and the number is expected to increase as per the requirements when services shift to the new airport. “The new fares will be revealed before the launch of Mwasalat-branded airport taxis, which will be better than the current fares. All taxis operating at the airport have registered with the company.” Currently operated by Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC), fares for airport taxis start from RO 6, and increases at the rate of 200 baisa per km after that.

Mwasalat Taxi launched its on-demand services on December 12. Its current fleet strength is 150, which is expected to reach 400 by this year-end. “The painting or branding of all vehicles cannot be done at one time, but they are happening as per schedule following which Mwasalat-themed taxis will be visible across shopping malls in Oman,” Al Balushi said. “The on-demand taxis are growing on a daily basis and the response has been positive.”  Fares for Mwasalat taxis will be reviewed when the promotion concludes in a few days.

At present, the day fares (6 am to 10 pm (Saturday-Thursday) from commercial centres start from RO 1 and for on-demand services from RO 1.2, followed by 300 baisa per km for both. Night fares (6 am to 10 pm (Saturday-Thursday) start at commercial centres from RO 1.3 and for on-demand services from RO 1.5 with an increase of 350 baisa per km for both. Night fares are applied for trips on Fridays and public holidays. Al Balushi said as per the licence terms for operations from commercial centres, the company is also serving visitors to the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC). An agreement is expected to be signed soon.

The company plans to introduce contract-based services for students or office-goers. For drivers, the benefits offered by the companies include training of technical, customer services, sharing of advertisement revenues (50 per cent), health insurances, painting costs, annual service packages, vehicle insurances and periodical cleaning (both exterior and interior). Zuhair, a Mwasalat taxi operator, said, “Daily earnings generally are in the range of RO 25-RO 75.” He said while passengers have expressed satisfaction with these new services, they want the fares to be reviewed or revisited.

Vinod Nair