6-10 Airports Will Be Sold To Private Firms Under Next Phase Of Disinvestment (Full Details)
On Thursday, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be starting the third stage of the airport privatization process for 6-10 airports in April, 2021.
Privatization Of Airports
The government is looking to club a profitable airport along with a non-profitable airport in the next round, he added.
According to him, the government will use a new approach for privatizing airports, by clubbing a profitable airport with a loss-making airport for the sale process.
Further he said, “AAI is examining the feasibility of giving a non-profitable airport and a profit-making airport as a package. We could see six to 10 airports being taken up,”.
Airport Privatization Mentioned In Budget
The same was mentioned in the budget speech by Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
According to this, the government will privatize airports operated by AAI from tier II and III cities during 2021-22.
For its capital expenditure requirements in 2021-22, AAI is raising Rs 2,100 crore from banks, as per the information provided by its acting chairman Anuj Agarwal.
Till now, the government has awarded the airports of Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, Jaipur and Mangalore to Adani Group, as part of the first round of divestment process which kickstarted in 2018.
Commencement Of Air India Divestment Process
Apart from this, the government will float the preliminary information memorandum for Air India Air Transport Services Ltd to commence its divestment process once again, Kharola said.
Currently, the AIATSL or Air India Air Transport Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India.
Basically, it is involved in activities of ramp handling for aircraft, cargo handling and passenger handling.
Constant Monitoring Of Air Traffic
Moving ahead, Kharola mentioned that “the government is constantly monitoring the air traffic levels and will ensure that there is enough supply in the market to match the demand,”.
So far, there is 60-65 percent utilisation of the allowed 80 percent limit in domestic flights.
Prior to this, the domestic flights were suspended for a two-month period. Afterworld they have resumed from May 25 with capped fares.
While talking about the fare cap, he said that a decision on fare cap will be taken in view of the demand situation as it is “temporary.”
Further confirming he said that the government is keen in resuming the international passenger flights.
As the international passenger flights are currently operating under air travel bubble arrangements only.