Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Adani Group takes over Mumbai airport

New Delhi: The Adani Group on Tuesday took over the reins of Mumbai Airport, checking in with a majority 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).

The GVK Group, which built the “peacock” style Terminal 2 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), has exited MIAL with Adani Airport Holdings Ltd (AAHL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, acquiring its entire 50.5% stake along with the 23.5% stake in MIAL held by two foreign firms.

Airports Authority of India holds the remaining 26%.

AAHL will begin the construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) next month and complete the financial closure in the next 90 days. This new international airport will be commissioned in 2024, the infra major says.

In a tweet, Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani said: “We are delighted to take over management of the world class Mumbai International Airport. We promise to make Mumbai proud. The Adani Group will build an airport ecosystem of the future for business, leisure and entertainment. We will create thousands of new local jobs.”

The Adani Group is now India’s biggest airport operator with eight airports in its fold.

While Mumbai is India’s second busiest airport, AAHL — “India's largest airport infrastructure company” — now handles almost a quarter of India’s air traffic and “will now also control 33% of India’s air cargo traffic,” the company said in a statement.

It took over MIAL from the GVK Group following a board meeting on Tuesday and after getting all required approvals received from the Centre and state governments and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra.

“Our larger objective is to reinvent airports as ecosystems that drive local economic development and act as the nuclei around which we can catalyse aviation-linked businesses. These include metropolitan developments that span entertainment facilities, e- commerce and logistics capabilities, aviation dependent industries, smart city developments, and other innovative business concepts,” said Gautam Adani.

The Adani Group is betting big on its seven functional airports and the upcoming one at Navi Mumbai with India expected to be the world’s third largest aviation market by 2024. This, it says, “provides a transformational aviation platform allowing the Adani Group to interlink its B2B and B2C business as well as create several strategic adjacencies for the Group’s other B2B businesses.”

13/07/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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