Kolkata: Addressing a long-standing demand for more currency exchange counters at Kolkata airport’s international wing, the count has been doubled from two to four with three situated in the arrival section and one at the departure. This has led to a 20%-25% rise in forex transactions at the airport over 2019 prior to the pandemic when international flights as well flyers were more than now.
Kolkata had six forex counters till pandemic led to the lockdown.When the international airport resumed operations, two counters were opened, one in departure and the other at arrival. But as passenger count picked up, the two counters fell woefully short, leading to large queues. Late last month, two more counters were opened, taking the number of forex kiosks to four.
According to officials of Zenith Leisure Holidays Ltd that has operating the forex counters, there are currently three kiosks in the arrival level as 50% of foreigners arriving at the airport exchange their currency while 90% of the departing passengers get the currency exchanged at facilities in the city prior to reaching the airport.
“Only those who stay in smaller cities and towns or in slightly remote areas where currency exchange facility isn’t available get their currency exchanged at the airport prior to departure,” an official said. Zenith Leisure also has forex operations at Lucknow, Pune and Chandigarh airports.
The counters that were already functional were located near the immigration counter on arrival and near check-in portals G and H in the departure hall. The two new are opposite baggage carousel number 14 in the arrival level and near exit gate 4A. Most of the trading happens between 3.30 pm and 2.30 am and between 7 am and 11 am.
The currencies that mostly get exchanged the most are US Dollar, British Pound, Euro, Bangladesh Taka, Malaysian Ringgit, Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht, UAE Dirham, Indonesian Rupiah and Vietnamese Dong.
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