Passengers of Abu Dhabi will now be charged up to Dh21 more for a trip from the airport after the launch of new taxi vans.

The new luxury fleet will rise the flag fall for the 150 black Mercedes van, keeping the rate per kilometer the same. Passengers will not be seeing a raise from Dh 3.5 to Dh 25 for these luxury fleet vans. The taxi will be available at all hours on the terminals 1, 2 and 3.  15 Toyota Camry cabs having a flag fall of Dh20 will be available at terminal 2, which is used by budgeted airlines.

There will also be vans for customers with special needs, which will have electronic wheel chair lifts etc.  This is a strategic move towards service and will definitely have the passengers more satisfied and happy with the service provided at the airport.

There is a plan to increase the fleet to 200 in the coming months and even have silver taxis if required to support the increase in demand. The vans can hold up to seven passengers, and are fully furnished with online tracking system, speed limiter and other facilities, along with GPS as well.

This project took three years to complete,” said Mohamed Al Hosani, director of franchise and licensing at TransAD.

If you come to think of it, it’s still the cheapest. This is a totally new service in the UAE because we offer Mercedes Vito vehicles at the airport.”

Mohammed Al Qamzi, general manager at TransAD, said: “If you see our rates, they are very low. It will be an issue for the people who are working at the airport but for passengers, it is reasonably priced and cheaper compared to taxis at Heathrow Airport.”

Waleed Al Mehairi, executive director of transport and leasing at Emirates Transport, said he hoped the taxis would soon start taking electronic payments.

“I cannot give you a specific date but I hope it will be in February,” Mr Al Mehairi said.

“It is now under process and we have already finalized it with the bank. The next stage is the installation of the device”