AAI Extends Bidding Date As Beer Bar Offer Fizzles Out

New Delhi, Feb 25: | Updated: Feb 26 2004, 05:30am hrs
The Airport Authority of India has extended the date for submitting technical and financial bids to operate beer bar at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here, due to subdued response from beer manufacturers.

The authority is also planning to relax certain clause of the tender document to attract more players. The last date to submit the tender was February 20, which had been extended by a fortnight since then, an authority source told FE.

When contacted, a senior civil aviation ministry official has confirmed that the authority is re-thinking to relax certain criteria to make the bid more competitive.

Industry sources point out that most of the beer companies could not buy the tender document, as they did not manufacture all four types of beer required to be served in the proposed bar. The authority insisted that the tender document will be given to those who manufacture all the four types: mild, strong, drought and canned beer, said an official with one of the beer companies, which was denied the tender document.

Arguing that only a few companies manufacture all the four types of beer, he said, being a place frequented by foreign visitors, the beer bar must keep international brands. And it is not possible for any liquor manufacturer to provide all four types of internationally recognised beer brands by itself. And in a location like an international airport, people would like to have internationally recognised brands. Hence, there was little response to the proposed project.

Authority official, however, dismissed the argument. There are some response, but we want to change some of the criteria for qualification with an extended deadline by 15 days, he said.

Last December, the authority had invited an expression of interest from branded beer manufacturers to establish beer bar in the transit area on 12-month experimental basis. Liquor firms such as Shaw Wallace, Mount Shivalik and Fosters India had responded to the proposal. Based on this, the authority invited both technical and financial bids.