Friday, February 05, 2021

Government plans to privatise 10 state-run airports in first quarter of next fiscal

New Delhi: The government plans to invite bids to privatise six to 10 state-run airports in the first quarter of the next fiscal, with plans for a “package” offer that clubs profitable and non-profitable airports to realise optimum value.

“AAI is examining giving non-profitable airport and profit making airports as a package. We could see six to 10 airports being taken up. The airports will be given to the private sector for 50 years,” Pradeep Kharola, secretary, ministry of civil aviation said on Thursday.

The bidding terms for the operation of the airports, their management as well as the development of infrastructure will be structured to encourage long-term leases of the facilities.

So far, the government has awarded the airports at Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, Jaipur and Mangalore to Adani Group under the first round of the divestment process which started in 2018.

Kharola said the government would float the preliminary information memorandum for Air India Air Transport Services Ltd to commence its divestment afresh. AIATSL or Air India Air Transport Services is a wholly wned subsidiary of Air India and is involved in managing the ramp operations, cargo handling and passenger management.

On the strategic sale of Air India, the civil aviation secretary said the transaction advisors were scrutinising the expressions of interest. “The transaction adviser has received the expression of interest from bidders. The adviser will now seek financial bids from the qualified bidders.” Kharola said.

Kharola said the government would do away with fare bands once the situation returns to normality.  “Fare bands are not going to be permanent. As soon as the normal operation starts, the fare bands will go away,” he said.

05/02/21 Telegraph

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