The Adani Group majored in winning the auctions held by central government to privatise 6 airports in India, as they won bids for 5 of the auctioned airports and will take over the operations soon.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had put up six airports for privatisation for the first time after a similar attempt in 13 years, since 2006 when the Delhi and Mumbai airports were handed over to private companies for handling. In November, the centre had cleared a proposal for privatising six AAI-run airports: Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur and Guwahati and let them operate under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The auction attracted a total of 32 technical bids from 10 companies and reputed stakeholders like GMR Airports, Autostrade Indian Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd, PNC Infratech Ltd, NIIF & Zurich Airport International AG, AMP Capital, I-Investment Ltd, KSIDC and Cochin International Airport. Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports received seven bids each, Lucknow and Guwahati received six bids each and, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram received three bids each.
However, in the final bidding round held on Monday, the Adani Group came out to be the highest bidder for 5 of the 6 airports, bagging away the bids for Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Jaipur airports – as announced by the AAI. The aim of Adani Group will be to provide better infrastructural facilities at all the five airports to match with global standards – just like the Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore airport does. For the Adanis, this is seen as a big plus for stepping into the aviation sector, and should open wider participation in the coming days.