The Adani Group signed a concession agreement with state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the operation, development and management of airports at Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram, almost two years after winning the bids.
According to terms and conditions specified in the concession agreement, the Adani Group will have to take over the airports within six months. The concessionaire will manage, develop and operate the airports for 50 years.
The Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises had in February 2019 emerged as the highest bidders for AAI-operated airports in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Lucknow, which were put up for privatization under the public private partnership (PPP) model.
However, the Communist Party of India-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, moved the Supreme Court against the handover of the Thiruvananthapuram airport to the group. While the apex court is yet to hear the matter, the Kerala high court had dismissed the state’s plea in October.
Adani Group has already started operating three airports at Lucknow, Mangaluru and Ahmedabad. The group, which had no experience of running airports, had outbid established players like GMR Group during the government’s airports privatization exercise.
Following the covid-19 outbreak, which resulted in travel restrictions and border shutdowns, the company had invoked the force majeure clause in the public-private partnership (PPP) contract to delay taking possession of airports at Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru.