Hyderabad, Oct 28:
Duty-free outlet at Maldives’ Ibrahim Nasir International Airport managed by GMR Group, has sold a bottle of whisky for $39,000 (approximately Rs 21 lakh).
The Balvenie Fifty limited-edition whisky, which has just 88 bottles available all over the world, was purchased by a Chinese passenger at the airport, said Neeraj Sharma, Brand Development Manager (Indian Sub-Continent) of William Grant and Sons - makers of the fine Scotch whisky.
“We allocated two bottles of Balvenie Fifty for Indian Sub-Continent. Both bottles were kept at Male International Airport. A Chinese traveller purchased a bottle for $39,000 two weeks ago. He also purchased Balveni Forty for $5,200,” he told PTI.
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is commonly known as Male International Airport.
According to a press release issued at the time of its launch, Balvenie Fifty was unveiled to celebrate master blender David Stewart’s 50th anniversary with the company.
“Nothing for India. Because in India bulk of the business comes from arrival shops (at airports). At the arrival shop there are restrictions on quantum of purchase. So we cannot put some of the expensive products at Indian duty free shops, he explained.
According to a person familiar with customs rules, a passenger can buy only up to $500 at duty-free outlets at airports in India.
On Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky - the flagship brand of William Grant and Sons, he said, “We have almost 45 to 50 per cent share in single malt business. It has huge range within the brand. We are also launching Glenfiddich 125 shortly. It should be around during Diwali,” he said.Duty-free retail will continue to be a prime driver for premium brands due to huge difference of pricing over domestic market, he added.
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