The Transportation Ministry announced on Friday that the winning bidder for providing taxi services from Ben Gurion Airport was "GT Gettaxi Services Israel Ltd."
The company will operate under the Gett brand and will operate taxi services from Ben Gurion to all parts of the country.
The contract will be for a four-year period with an option to extend the contract for an additional four years. Gett will pay NIS 6.15 per trip from the airport to the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) as part of the contract, according to Israeli media.
The Ministry says that this is similar to the taxi services available from other international airports. They hope that the service operating under a franchise will provide passengers with an available, reliable, and supervised service.
The "supervised" service is intended to tackle the ongoing issues surrounding "taxi stings", where taxi drivers will overcharge unwitting tourists and even extort Israelis for higher fees. Israeli media reported on several such extortions and scams, for example ordering a ride could lead to the driver demanding a higher fee and then canceling the ride if it isn't accepted.
In order to avoid this there will be an organized complaints system which the Israel Police said would be provided by Gett. The solution would see riders given access to a taxi registration system, queue management, and increased availability of taxis during peak times.
No organized taxis since 2017
There have been no organized taxis from the airport since 2017 when Gett and Hadar Taxis jointly won the bid in exchange for a discount of 30% from the Transport Ministry's price list. Hadar Taxi drivers vetoed the move after discovering the size of the discount, as a result, the win was canceled. Between then and now taxi rides from Ben Gurion have been free for all with any taxi allowed to provide service.
According to data from the IAA in 2022, Ben Gurion Airport had a total of about 1.3 million trips, this is down from pre-Coronavirus levels when in 2019 the airport received around 1.7 million trips.
According to the Transportation Ministry, this is a relatively better recovery compared to other "parallel" international airports, with the Ministry expecting over 25 million passengers for the year 2023.
This was the first commercial tender undertaken by the IAA since after the Coronavirus crisis, the Ministry claims that this is evidence of the commercial attractiveness of Israel and that the business sector in Israel has seen record levels of activity in this field.
Transportation Minister Miri Regev: "Ben Gurion Airport is the main gateway to the State of Israel through which over 20 million passengers pass every year, and is the first place that tourists meet upon entering Israel. Anyone who has flown from or returned to Israel in recent months has recognized the service revolution we are leading at the airport. With the publication of the results of the tender, the transportation service system will also undergo an upgrade and be part of the service revolution in Ben Gurion Airport."