Prague Airport is calling a concession procedure to select a new operator of currency exchange services and ATMs. The business model will be fundamentally changed and improved by the condition of capping the exchange rates of three core currencies at a maximum of 15 percent spread compared to the midpoint of the Czech National Bank (CNB). This set exchange rate policy is at the lower end of the scale among European airports.
The five-year agreement with the current operator terminates at the end of November this year, after which a new operator will launch their operations.
Jakub Puchalský, Member of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said, regarding the tender announcement, that the airport has based its conditions on thorough research across other international airports in order to review the offered exchange rates. “We are significantly improving the service with a set exchange rate spread. As part of the concession process, we require the new operator to have experience in providing foreign currency exchange services and VAT refunds at the minimum of three international airports, and that the spread for the euro, dollar, and British pound is contractually set – in our case as the difference between the offered exchange rate and the midpoint of the CNB published exchange rate. In the case of online currency reservations and currency collections at the airport, the cap for the mentioned three currencies is only 5 percent, which could be especially interesting for domestic travellers,” Puchalský added.
The required services of the new operator will include exchange services, operation of ATMs, processing and payments of VAT refunds, online advanced reservations of currencies with collections at the airport, and money services including cash transfers. The operator will enjoy exclusivity in the area of currency exchange services and ATMs in the non-public area of both airport terminal buildings.
The contractual fine in the amount of 10,000 crowns for each violation of the exchange rate cap is also new. In the case of persistent violations, Prague Airport will have the right to cancel the exclusive status of the operator or terminate the agreement. The new operator will also have an obligation beyond the scope of the law to process cancellations of transactions in the public airport area which were concluded in the restricted area of the airport, to which the client no longer has access.