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Airport set for sip and bite, at last

- Brands to open outlets by March 15

Now: Next to nothing.

March 15: McDonald’s,KFC, Grab & Go, Cafe Coffee Day, Ultra bar, Pizza Hut, Copper Chimney, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Kusum Rolls,Idli.com, Kookie Jar, Café Ccino...

We are not talking about yet another mall in the city but Calcutta airport’s new terminal.

The agency that was given the contract by Airports Authority of India (AAI) to bring F&B chains to the new terminal has signed up popular brands that will open outlets by March 15, airport officials said.

“The agency, Travel Food Services, is the master concessionaire and has finalised deals with several F&B chains,” airport director B.P. Sharma told Metro.

“Work for setting up stalls would start on January 15 and in two months, most of the F&B retail outlets would become operational. Along with the stores, there will be four food courts and six bar-cum-restaurants,” said Sharma.

The biggest food court will be spread across 600sq m and two others will be 400sq m each. The smallest one will cover 250sq m.

The F&B outlets will be set up across passenger areas — including departure and arrival lounges — security hold and also outside the terminal on the city side. The outlets will cover three lounges, including the platinum lounge.

The contract is for 10 years and the Mumbai-headquartered Travel Food Services, which also operates at Muscat airport in Oman, will be responsible for all operations and maintenance.

“The wide range of offerings will stand out. Food is such an important part of the city and we are confident that we will bring joy to the hearts of all passengers passing through the airport,” Sunil Kapur, the chairman of Travel Food Services had earlier told Metro.

The lounges would be of a standard that would please business travellers and other passengers with complimentary Wi-fi, extensive snacks and buffet offerings, a wide variety of beverages and personalised care and service, Kapur had said.

Entertainment options would range from TVs and newspapers to massage chairs.

The integrated terminal, which became operational in March, currently has a handful of small F&B outlets, including Subway and CCD.

“There is nothing to choose from, unlike Delhi’s T3 or Mumbai airport,” said IT professional Subhasis Dutta, a frequent flier.

The awarding of the contract is part of the civil aviation ministry’s plan to privatise operations and maintenance of Calcutta airport in phases.

According to the airport director, the contract to get a master concessionaire on board and bring in retail brands and a private agency for operations and maintenance of the terminal would be finalised soon.