The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru to Adani Enterprises Ltd.
"Adani Enterprises Ltd has won the rights to run five of the six airports, the operations of which are being privatised, beating rival bidders by a steep margin and overnight turning into India’s largest airport operator outside government control," a statement from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said.
"These projects will bring efficiency in delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector. This will also result in enhanced revenues to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which may lead to further investment by AAI at Tier II and Tier III cities and economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure," it added.
Mint had in February reported that Adani Enterprises has won the rights to run five of the six airports, the operations of which are being privatised.
The AAI, the then operator of the Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru airports, said in a press release on 25 February that Adani Enterprises offered ₹177, ₹174, ₹171, ₹168 and ₹115, respectively, as revenue per passenger that it would pay the authority in exchange for a 50-year concession agreement to run these airports.
Mint had in February reported that the financial closure for the deals and the legal work involved would mean that the official handover of the airport assets to the highest bidder would take three to four months.
In November 2018, the Cabinet had cleared the privatisation of the six airports under the public-private partnership model. In a departure from the model used in the first round of airport privatisation more than a decade ago, the AAI sought bids for the operations and maintenance of these airports for a concession period of 50 years.