Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Bengaluru set to overtake Mumbai in domestic air traffic

On June 8, two announcements came in. The first was the GVK group making public the video rendering of the terminal and facilities at the Navi Mumbai airport.

The project has been stuck for a long time, and, in all probability, will miss its revised deadline. On the same day, the Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL), which runs the Taj Group of Hotels, unveiled plans for a very large property near the Bengaluru Airport.

The 775-key property will be a mix of 450 rooms of Vivanta and 325 rooms of the low-cost brand Ginger. The group already runs a property at the airport, named Taj Bangalore.

Interestingly, both airports have changed hands in the recent past. The Bengaluru airport was part of the GVK portfolio but was sold to the Prem Watsa-led Fairfax later.

The Navi Mumbai airport will move to the Adani group as part of a deal that gives the group, which is investing in the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), the company which runs the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), the rights to develop the Navi Mumbai airport.

How the developments span out here on could see Bengaluru possibly emerging as a number two airport in the country by domestic traffic in future.

Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has over 500 acres of land adjoining the airport which can be developed. A separate company, Bengaluru Airport City Ltd (BACL), has been formed to look after its development.

BACL is a wholly owned subsidiary of BIAL. This company has been formed to monetise real estate and aims to have medical and biotech parks, malls, hospitality districts, a concert arena, convention and exhibition centres, among others.

16/06/21 Ameya Joshi/Moneycontrol

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