Welcome the #GatewayToGoodness in your lives. The Mangaluru International Airport family is privileged to serve you on your journey to let your dreams take flight. #travel #airport #aviation #Mangaluru pic.twitter.com/10472mFibM— Mangaluru Airport (@aaimlrairport) October 30, 2020
The Adani Group has taken over the airport of Mangalore on Saturday (October 31) and has commenced commercial operations there. The airport was a state-run airport operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Mangalore is one of the six state-run airports that have been awarded to Adani Group after the bidding process under the first phase of airport privatisation.
Adani Group is expected to take over Lucknow airport on November 2 and Ahmedabad airport on November 7, sources aware of the development said.
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate was given a three-month extension to commence commercial operations at the airports by completing all conditions and financial closure by November 2020.
As per the original plan, Adani Group was to complete financial closure and start commercial operations within 180 days from February 14, 2020, when the AAI board approved the concession agreement between the statutory body and Adani Group. Hence, the earlier deadline was August 2020.
It is important to note that the AAI had bid out six of its airports in 2019 and Adani Group had emerged as the highest bidder for all six airports. The Union Cabinet has also recently approved the bids of Jaipur, Trivandrum, and Guwahati.
Under a two-stage tender process, which concluded February 2019, Adani Group made entry into Indian aviation and emerged as the highest bidder for all six airports, quoting the highest per passenger fee to be paid to the AAI on a monthly basis.
The Ahmedabad-based conglomerate had surprised the industry with its aggressive bids. At Rs 115 per passenger for Manguluru and Rs 171 for Lucknow, Adani Group’s bids were over 500 percent more than the lowest bids received from the GMR Group and PNC Infratech respectively.
Similarly, it placed a bid of Rs 177 for Ahmedabad airport, nearly 200 percent more than the lowest bid of Rs 60 of Autostrade Indian Infrastructure Development Pvt Ltd.
In November 2018, the union cabinet had decided to privatise six airports to increase their efficiency and quality. The airports will be given a lease period of 50 years. To invite greater participation, prior airport experience was not among the mandatory bidding criteria.