In the first quarter of the next fiscal year, the government aims to invite bids to privatise six to ten state-run airports, with plans for a “package” providing maximum value to clubs that are profitable and non-profitable airports.
“AAI is examining giving non-profitable airports and profit-making airports as a package. We could see six to 10 airports being taken up. The airports will be given to the private sector for 50 years,” Pradeep Kharola, secretary, ministry of civil aviation said on Thursday.
The bidding criteria for the operation, management and construction of the infrastructure of the airports would be organized in order to facilitate long-term leases of the facilities.
In the first round of the divestment process that began in 2018, the government has so far awarded the airports in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Guwahati, Jaipur and Mangalore to Adani Group.
Kharola said the government would float the preliminary information memorandum for Air India Air Transport Services Ltd to commence its divestment afresh. AIATSL or Air India Air Transport Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India and is involved in managing the ramp operations, cargo handling and passenger management.
On the strategic sale of Air India, the civil aviation secretary said the transaction advisors were scrutinising the expressions of interest. “The transaction adviser has received the expression of interest from bidders. The adviser will now seek financial bids from the qualified bidders.” Kharola said.
Kharola said the government would do away with fare bands once the situation returns to normality. “Fare bands are not going to be permanent. As soon as the normal operation starts, the fare bands will go away,” he said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is examining the issue of giving approval to Boeing Max 737 planes to fly in India and a decision will be taken after running all sorts of scrutiny “They will be running all sorts of scrutiny that is possible. It is a very major decision DGCA wants to be sure,” Kharola said.
The strategic stake sale of the company has been stuck due to the land licence fee policy. The Cabinet approval to the land licence policy will pave way for strategic divestment of the state-owned Container Corp, the official said.
Airbus on February 4 has signed a MoU with GMR Group to explore collaboration opportunities across aviation services, technologies and innovation.
“Under this partnership, GMR and Airbus teams will work together and innovate across areas such as airport operations and air cargo supply chain among others to realize our shared goals,” SGK Kishore, executive director – South and Chief Innovation Officer, GMR Airports said in a release.
The two will team up to explore potential synergies in several strategic areas of aviation services, including maintenance, components, training, digital and airport services, it said.
As part of the MoU, Airbus and GMR will collaborate to explore a broad scope of aviation services both for commercial and military aircraft, it added.