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All but 5 retail outlets shut at Kolkata airport

KOLKATA: All retail stores at Kolkata airport, except for 5 run via the state government, had been close down after the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) withdrew security clearance to the ‘master concessionaire’: the firm that operates the retail industry on the airport, in this case Welcome Retail Pvt Ltd.

Besides inconveniencing passengers who to find themselves robbed of the choice of surfing on the home windows or indulging in some shopping while looking ahead to flights, the hurried means wherein the shops had been lined up with plastic sheets and duct tape has turned the integrated terminal into an eyesore. Some bewildered flyers even remarked it used to be as even though the city’s hawker stalls were transplanted to the airport terminal.

Welcome Retail, a three way partnership of Travel News Services India (a subsidiary of Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail) and Flemingo Retail that for my part operates duty-free retail outlets on the airport, had gained the master concessionaire contract two years in the past. It operates the 51 retail outlets that promote goods starting from apparel to jewellery to sneakers, luggage and cosmetics that have now been close.

“On April 1, civic aviation security regulator BCAS withdrew security clearance to the master concessionaire in Kolkata together with Indore and Raipur. Consequently, all passes to shop-keepers that allowed them get entry to to designated sections of the terminal where the particular retail outlets are situated have been withdrawn. We are involved with the Airports Authority of India headquarters in Delhi and hope the problem can be resolved soon,” mentioned Kolkata airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya.

A supply at Welcome Retail mentioned the BCAS letter didn't cite any explanation why for the closure. “The order that got here on Monday used to be unexpected and unexpected. We had no choice but to close down all of the stores on Tuesday,” the professional mentioned. However, an AAI professional mentioned the closure could be owing to the concessionaire’s failure to furnish a report throughout the considered necessary length. “A drastic step like this should not have took place rapidly. There would had been repeated reminders to publish the important report, failing which clearance used to be withdrawn,” a senior AAI professional mentioned.

At Kolkata airport, handiest 5 retail stores belonging to Biswa Bangla and Tantuja, both state government undertakings, are now open. Retaurants and food retailers which are operated via food and drinks (F&B) master francisee Travel Food Service (TFS) also are open.

Retail, food & beverage and promoting earnings account for 20% of Kolkata airport’s earnings. Non-aviation income in 2017-18, which contains earnings from retail, F&B and promoting, rose to Rs 265 crore from Rs 199 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 193 crore in 2015-16.

“If the location isn’t resolved soon, we need to set up monitors and camouflage the shops. But we can not herald some other operator to give aid to flyers,” Bhattacharya added.

Bhattacharya as well as Raipur airport director Rakesh Sahay admitted the location used to be very odd with passengers repeatedly inquiring why the shops have been close and after they would reopen. “We don’t have the answer. We are apologising for the inconvenience but there's nothing that can be finished except the BCAS problems a clearance,” mentioned Sahay.

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