Business and financeGulliver

Travel firms can afford to upset supporters of President Trump

WRITING a few weeks ago, Gulliver envisioned a close partnership between the then president-elect, Donald Trump, and the bosses of tech firms; one that could remove regulation and pave the way to a future of autonomous electric vehicles.

Since then politics has intervened. Specifically, Mr Trump signed an executive order barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from travelling to America. Upon the announcement of the order, the transportation industry sprang into action. New York taxicab drivers staged a boycott of sorts, refusing to pick up passengers from John F Kennedy Airport to show solidarity with those affected by the ban. In response, Uber, a ride-hailing firm, sensed a business opportunity and dropped surge pricing for JFK pickups, effectively cutting the cost of hailing an Uber from the airport.

That proved to be a mistake. Progressives across America accused the firm of breaking the strike. Some noted that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s boss, had joined Mr Trump’s economic advisory council in December. A #DeleteUber campaign was launched. More than…Continue reading

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