Adani group wins bids to operate 5 airports for 50 yrs

Adani group wins bids to operate 5 airports for 50 yrs

FILE PHOTO: Gautam Adani

Making a foray into the airport business, the Adani Group on Monday pipped seven contenders to bag the rights to operate five out of the six Airports Authority of India-run (AAI) airports for the next 50 years.

The AAI announced that the Adani Group emerged as the highest bidder for the operation, management and development of its airports in Mangaluru, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Jaipur.

Bids for the Guwahati airport are scheduled to be opened on Tuesday and the buzz is that the Adani may bag the rights to operate this airport, too.

The AAI chose the winner on the basis of “per-passenger fee” offered by the bidders. The five airports would be handed over to the Adani Group after completion of formalities, an AAI official said.

The official said the bids by the Adani group were "very aggressive" as compared to others.

The AAI said in a press statement that as per-passenger fee, the Adani Group put in a bid of Rs 177, Rs 174, Rs 171, Rs 168 and Rs 115 for airports at Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru, respectively.

The per passenger fee would be paid by the Adani Group to the AAI.

“We would be aiming to scale up the infrastructure to bring these facilities on a par with global standards,” an Adani Group spokesperson said in a statement here.

The winning bid was decided on the basis of the highest monthly per-passenger fee that the concessionaire was willing to offer to the AAI. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were privatised under a revenue-sharing model.

The other contenders in the bidding process were GMR Group, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, Australia’s AMP Capital, PNC Infratech Ltd and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (KSIDC).

For Mangaluru airport, the Cochin International Airport Limited was the second highest bidder at Rs 45, according to the AAI statement.

A total of 32 technical bids were received from 10 companies to operate the six airports that are currently under the AAI's management.

In November last year, the government had cleared a proposal for managing six AAI-run airports on public-private partnership (PPP) basis.