The India Tourism Development Corporation's monopoly over duty-free shops at airports is set to end. The Airports Authority of India on Wednesday rejected ITDC's bid for duty-free shops at 10 airports, over non-payment of dues of up to Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million).
The authority received bids from nine foreign companies, including the Dubai-based Flamingo International and the United Kingdom-based Alpha Retail, on Wednesday, the last day for submission of technical bids.
The Nuance group of Australia, SUTL Services and DFS of Singapore, TrueBell Marketing, Alpha Duty Free and King Power Duty Free of Thailand are the other companies in the fray. The bids are likely to be evaluated on November 17.
ITDC has threatened to complain to the ministry of tourism and seek redress. The corporation had outbid others in 2000, when the airports authority had floated tenders for duty-free shops. Sources in the authority said ITDC's bid was absurdly high at Rs 37 crore (Rs 370 million). However, ITDC was unable to earn commensurate returns.
Among the nine overseas bidders, Alpha Retail, which has a strong presence in the UK, United States and Europe, is present at the Kochi International Airport.
The Nuance group has a chain of 5,370 shops spanning Europe, the US and Asia. SUTL Services operates in 18 Asian countries, while TrueBell and King Power have a strong presence in Southeast Asia and West Asia.
The airports authority had floated a global tender for duty-free shopping space of around 1,566.92 sq mt at 10 major airports: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kozhikode, Goa and Tiruchirapalli
- The Airports Authority of India on Wednesday rejected ITDC's bid for duty-free shops at 10 airports, over non-payment of dues of up to Rs 20 crore.
- The authority received bids from nine foreign companies.
- ITDC has threatened to complain to the ministry of tourism and seek redress.