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Cyprus Airport taxi Ryanair Cyprus flights

Cyprus Airport taxi more than Ryanair cyprus flights.

THE LONG-STANDING issue of overcharging by taxis at Paphos airport when Cyprus flights arrive is being compounded by the recession, and drivers taking advantage customers coming in on the recently-arrived Ryanair Cyprus flights.

Taxi drivers say they are being pushed to the limit between the recession, illegal drivers at the airport, and the increased competition from airport shuttle services. They concede that these factors, which contribute to lack of business, might push some Cyprus taxi drivers to charge more when the do manage to pick up a customer. 

Complaints against the taxis have increased in recent weeks, tourism bosses say. And the drivers could have another form of competition about to eat into their fares.

The Kapnos airport shuttle service is considering starting a bus service from Nicosia to Paphos airport from June so that people can take advantage of the 15 new destinations Ryanair is offering for Cyprus flights.

Complaining customers using taxis in recent weeks have cited overcharging as the primary problem, although others have also complained about drivers using excessive speed, dangerous driving and smoking, sources in the tourism industry said.

Some passengers are now paying more for their taxi from the airport into Paphos than the price of their cyprus flights with the low-cost carrier.

Sharon Boston recently used a taxi after her Cyprus flights into Paphos airport to the centre of Paphos and says she was charged €50.

“I came to Cyprus visiting friends, and I was horrified when the driver asked me for €50. He became nasty when I questioned the fare as I had been told it should be about €30. I was scared, so I just gave him the money. I would never use a taxi from the airport again.”

Overcharging by taxis is a well known problem in Paphos but the phenomena seems to be increasing due to the economic crisis.

“Sometimes drivers are waiting 20 or so hours at the airport just for one fare arriving on Cyprus flights. There really isn’t a lot of work for us. Some day drivers don’t even earn €10 and the price of petrol is going up. If there’s no work, of course people may feel the need to charge more,” said Tassos Anastasiou, the vice president of the Paphos taxi drivers union

According to one airport official, who said he would rather not be named, to travel by taxi from Paphos airport to Kato Paphos should be around €18, but drivers often charge between €35- €50.

But Anastasiou said the journey taken in a small taxi with luggage, should be about €25.

 “We (the union) do not support any drivers who are not working correctly. But, as with any job, there are always good and bad workers,” he said.

“The drivers who are causing problems are not professional drivers working full time and are only working on a part time basis.”

Anastasiou said taxi drivers were suffering because of the bus services and also because of competition from private drivers which he says are operating illegally and are not licensed.

“These drivers are undercutting us and taking our customers. We have lost about 50 per cent of our custom to these people.”

Last week, Anastasiou says he witnessed two unlicensed drivers collecting customers from the airport. One of them charged €25 from Paphos to Latsi.

“How can they do that? It would cost me about €47for the same fare,” he said.

Anastasiou complained that the government was supporting the bus services and not the taxi drivers.  “It’s very unfair. We agreed to have the buses but despite our complaints to the government, they say there is nothing they can do to help us,” he said.

Taxi drivers may soon feel the pinch further as a new shuttle service connecting Paphos airport with the capital could get underway.

The head of Kapnos Airport shuttle, Bambos Kapnos, which currently operates shuttle transfers between Larnaca airport and Nicosia said, “We are considering starting an airport shuttle service connecting Nicosia with Paphos airport. This is mostly due to the start of the new Ryanair Cyprus flights.” 

Kapnos added: “We will make our decision by the beginning of May. If we start the new route it will get underway at the beginning of June.”

If the service does get the green light, it will cover most of the morning and afternoon flights.

A one way ticket will cost in the region of €16 and will take around one hour twenty minutes to an hour and a half, depending on whether the journey is made by mini bus or coach. Kapnos will operate both for various Cyprus flights.

In addition, new bus routes from Limassol to Paphos airport are already being operated by the Limassol Urban Bus Company (EAL). Tickets cost €8 per adult and €4 for children aged between three and 12.

Article about Cyprus flights and taxis

Courtesy Cyprus Mail.

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