Tuesday, June 29, 2021

As Adani's airport ambitions soar, rising risks of monopoly surface

The Adani Group aspires to take its recently started airport business to the top position in India and make its presence felt in the global market in five years. The question is whether its ambitions will lead to a monopoly in Indian aviation.

Adani Enterprises entered the Indian airport space in February 2019, when it won contracts to operate and manage six airports – Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram – for the next 50 years. Apart from running these airports, Adani will upgrade and develop additional airside terminals, cityside infrastructure and landside infrastructure of airports operated by the state-owned Airports Authority of India.

Additionally, Adani Enterprises took over the Mumbai and upcoming Navi Mumbai airports from the GVK Group earlier in 2021. It now manages seven operational airports and one greenfield airport.

Before the Adani Group’s entry, which created ripples, the major private companies in the sector were GMR Group, which manages the Delhi, Hyderabad and under-construction Mopa (Goa) airports, Zurich Airport (which is developing the Jewar airport near Noida) and Fairfax (Bengaluru airport). The GVK Group exited after losing Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports to Adani.

According to part of its detailed plans for the sector discussed by Adani Airport Group CEO Ben Zandi at a CAPA Live event in May, the company is focussed on three broad areas: consolidating operations, increasing non-aeronautical revenue, and switching to the use of clean energy.

29/06/21 ashwini Phadnis/Moneycontrol

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