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The Adani Group has been allowed a three-month extension to take over airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The Ahmedabad-based conglomerate had asked state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) for a six-month extension till December 2021, citing force majeure due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Scindia said that while the airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram are yet to be handed over to the Adani Group, those at Mangaluru, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow were handed over to the company on 31 October, 2 November and 7 November, respectively. The concessionaire had invoked force majeure and sought an extension of 205 days for taking over these airports.

“AAI had granted three months extension (to Adani Group) in this regard," Scindia said, adding that there was no loss registered to AAI due to the delay.

“The revenue from the remaining three airports viz. Guwahati, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram will continue to be received by AAI till the handing over of these airports to the concessionaire (Adani Group)," Scindia added.

Adani Group became the country’s largest airport operator after taking a controlling stake in MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Ltd) earlier this year. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) In Mumbai is the second busiest in the country after Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport .

According to a March report by rating agency Icra, the airport sector is likely to incur a net loss of 5,400 crore in the financial year ended 31 March due to a sharp drop in passenger traffic following the covid outbreak. The report also estimates a cash loss of 3,500 for the sector. However, Icra expects the airport sector to bounce back to profitability this financial year, with industry net profit expected to rise to 190 crore.

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