Sources say Adani Ent unlikely to advance takeover of three airports

Monday, Apr 27


–Sources: Adanis likely to seek transfer of airports by September now 

–Sources: Adani earlier hoped to take over three airports by Apr end


By Sunil Raghu


AHMEDABAD – Adani Enterprises Ltd is unlikely to advance takeover of airports in Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru because of the COVID-19 pandemic, sources said.


"Before the pandemic, Adanis were pushing to take over the reins of airports by April end but off late they have begun talking of sticking to contractual agreement which gives them time till September," a source close to development said.


In February 2019, Adani Enterprises won bids to operate airports of Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangaluru, and Guwahati on a public-private partnership model basis.


A year later, it signed a 50-year concession agreement with Airports Authority of India to develop and operate three of the six airports on a per-passenger fee model.


The company has to take over the management of the airport within 180 days of the signing of the agreement. But Chief Financial Officer Jugeshinder Singh had more than once publicly stated that company was hoping to take over first three airports by April, 2020.


However, the impact of the COVID-19 on the aviation and its allied sectors has led to the company going slow, sources said.


"Almost entire aviation industry is grounded, even at the airports, the eateries, Ubers and Olas of the world, the advertising, passenger walk-throughs, everything…everything is practically zero and no one knows when the situation would normalise," a source said.


India is under a lockdown currently to contain spread of COVID-19. Passenger flights have been banned and Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted that the ban would be lifted only when the government is confident that the virus has been contained.


India currently has a total fleet of 650 aeroplanes, almost all of which are grounded. Aviation consultancy CAPA forecasts that it shall take at least 12 months for India to utilise these aircraft fully. 


At 1301 IST, shares of Adani Enterprises were trading nearly 1% higher at 135.75 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.  End


IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Arshad Hussain


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