Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Incubator to strategic business: Adani Group’s foray into Indian airports

From an incubator project to a mainstay, the airport business of Adani Group has come a long way. The multinational conglomerate has emerged as a leading player in the Indian airport industry after it signed an agreement to buy a 74 percent stake in Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), India's second busiest. As MIAL holds a 74 percent stake in Navi Mumbai International Airport Ltd, Adani Group will also hold a 74 percent stake in the much-anticipated airport at Navi Mumbai.

The Gautam Adani-led group forayed into the Indian aviation sector for the first time in February 2019 when it submitted bids to operate, develop and build six non-metro airports of Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, Jaipur, and Mangaluru.

The Ahmedabad-based conglomerate, with investments in logistics, transportation, utilities, and energy, had surprised the industry with its aggressive bids. At Rs 115 per passenger for Mangaluru and Rs 171 for Lucknow, Adani Group’s bids were over 500 percent more than the bids received from the GMR Group and PNC Infratech respectively. Similarly, it placed a bid of Rs 177 for Ahmedabad airport, nearly 200 percent more than the bid of Rs 60 of Autostrade Indian Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd.

A year-and-a-half later, the group has emerged as the new operator for a total of eight airports with estimated passenger traffic of over 82 million passengers on an annual basis. This includes around 35 million annual passenger traffic of six non-metro airports, over 45 million annual passengers of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and an estimated 10 million for the upcoming Navi Mumbai International airport.
01/09/20 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18
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