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Adani Group officially becomes newest Indian airport operator

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The Adani Group has officially taken over responsibility for operating three Airports Authority of India (AAI) managed airports.

The company, which harbours ambitions to become a key player in the Indian market, added Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI Airport) to its airport network at the weekend.

The move follows the addition of Mangaluru and Lucknow airports on October 30 and November 2 respectively, all of which are subject to long-term lease agreements.

A tweet issued by Ahmedabad airport on Friday, said: “Airports Authority of India has completed the handing over procedure of SVPI Airport to Adani Ahmedabad International Airport Ltd (AAIAL). Midnight tonight will mark a new chapter for Ahmedabad Airport.”

Adani will be responsible for operating, managing and developing each airport and their respective infrastructure for the next 50 years.

While AAI will continue to handle services such as security, customs, immigration and plant and animal quarantine.

Via their respective operating companies, each airport recently became members of ACI Asia-Pacific.

“We extend a warm welcome to our new members in India,” enthuses ACI Asia-Pacific’s director general, Stefano Baronci. “We look forward to meeting their needs through our wide-ranging portfolio of policy and guidance materials, training and advocacy.”

Between them, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports handled a total of 19 million passengers in 2019.

“India has one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing aviation markets in the world,” adds Baronci.

“Despite the effects of the pandemic, the country is poised for continuing in the direction of expansion, initially at domestic level, followed by an international resurgence.

“The presence of public and private investors in the sector corresponds to the need to ensure a sustainable modernisation of the sector combined with a state-of-the art passenger experience.

“New players in the sector will likely bring new ideas and concepts to adapt to the new normal.”

In February 2019, the Adani Group won the lease rights to run six AAI airports: Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati.

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