Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bengaluru Airport strengthens management after change in ownership

New Delhi: With Prem Watsa’s Fairfax assuming control of the Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), the airport has geared up to strengthen its management structure by bringing in talents from across the world.

Sources said that the new owners have decided to bring in people who had experience in running airports. “Many of our former executives have come back as the new owners are strengthening the management looking at the massive expansion project,” said a BIAL executive. In June, the erstwhile owner GVK group exited the project selling its remaining stake to Fairfax.

Among the many who have joined the airline’s core management team is Javed Malik as the Chief Operating Officer. Malik had left BIAL in 2016 to join Jet Airways as Vice President, Global Airport Services. Similarly, Kenth Guldbjerg has been roped in as Chief Commercial Officer. Guldbjerg worked in the airport division of erstwhile owners GVK and has global experience as he has previously worked with Copenhagen Airports and Newcastle Airport.

Among the other talents with experience of managing global airports who have joined BIAL recently is Tom Shimmin who has joined as Chief Projects Officer. Shimmin, who used to look after upgradation of Nasir International Airport in the Maldives, will be responsible for the major upgradation work that BIAL is currently undergoing.

Expansion work includes the construction of the second runway and a new terminal building (T2) to handle 45 million additional passengers by 2027-28.The expansion was fast-tracked due to the rapid growth in air traffic, which has put a strain on airport infrastructure. Bengaluru's airport traffic has grown over seven times to 22 million passengers in the past fifteen year. Bhskar Anand Rao has joined as Chief Financial Officer from Dubai-based Al Rashideen Group. Rao had earlier worked as CFO of GMR Infrastructure which owns the Delhi and Hyderabad Airport.
28/12/17 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard