Chennai: Air India on 2 May signed a Joint Venture agreement with Singapore Airport Terminal Services(SATS) to provide ground handling services for the new international airport at Devanahalli, Bangalore.
This is the first time that Air India has formed a JV with a foreign company to provide ground handling services in an Indian airport, V. Thulasidas, Chairman, Air India told a press conference after the JV signing ceremony here.
The two companies would be signing another JV for the new international airport at Hyderabad in a few days for the same services. However, Indian (Indian Airlines) will a partner of the JV in the agreement for the ground handling services at Hyderabad, Thulasidas said.
The JV for the Bangalore airport was a 60:40 partnership (Air India: SATS) while at Hyderabad it would be 51:49 (Air India and Indian: SATS), he said.
The ground handling project at Bangalore would cost about Rs 70 crore, he said. “We expect the project will be open by April 2008.”
Under the seven-year joint venture, plans are to handle the majority of flights in Bangalore, the Chairman said adding they expected to handle about 55% of the flights at the Bangalore international airport that was coming up. They would be handling the tarmac and terminal operations, including handling all passengers who check in and their baggage.
“Bangalore has 11 domestic and 16 international airlines with over 61,000 flights annually,” he said.
Thulasidas also expressed hope that in the near future Air India could go beyond India and handle flights in foreign airports as well.