These airports will undergo privatisation soon, Minister tells parliament

Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh has given a list of 25 airports that are going to be privatised between 2022 to 2025 under the National Monetization Pipeline
These airports will undergo privatisation soon, Minister tells parliament

New Delhi: The government apparently is set to go all guns blazing on the privatisation of airports. The Central government plans to privatise a total of 25 airports between 2022 to 2025 under the National Monetization Pipeline, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh said in a reply in the Lok Sabha. As a part of the government's plans for asset monetisation, the 25 airports selected by the government are located in Nagpur, Varanasi, Dehradun, Trichy, Indore, Chennai, Calicut, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, and Patna, the minister said in his response to the Lok Sabha on December 09.

"We also have plans to privatise airports in Madurai, Tirupati, Ranchi, Jodhpur, Raipur, Rajahmundry, Vadodara, Amritsar, Surat, Hubli, Imphal, Agartala, Udaipur, Bhopal, and Vijayawada", the Minister told the lower house of the parliament.

VK Singh said that these 25 airports had been selected after looking at their annual traffic trends and all airports having annual traffic of above 0.4 million passengers have been selected for privatisation.

Earlier in 2021, the Centre said it was planning to raise Rs 20,782 crore within four years by monetising 25 airports across the country. VK Singh in his response also said that 133 of the 136 airports in the country suffered massive losses due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-21.

The Minister also shared the earnings data for 136 airports in India which showed that they collectively posted losses of Rs 2,882.74 crore in 2020-21, widening from a loss of Rs 80.18 crore in 2019-20 and a loss of Rs 465.91 crore in 2018-19 and reflecting the impact of the pandemic. All airports in India except those located at Kandala, Kanpur Chakeri, Bareilly, and Porbandar reported huge losses in 2020-21, the minister said in his response. While Kanpur Chakeri airport was the most profitable airport in India reporting a profit of Rs 6.07 crore, the other three profitable airports in Porbandar, Bareilly and Kandala reported a profit of Rs 1.54 crore, Rs 0.68 crore and Rs 0.11 crore, respectively.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport was the worst performer with a loss of Rs 384.81 crore in FY21, the data showed. Adani Airport Holdings holds a 74 percent stake in the airport and the AAI has 26 percent.

New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport posted a loss of Rs 317.41 crore. The Mumbai and Delhi airports were the hardest hit by the pandemic since they were the busiest in terms of international traffic, which is yet to resume on a regular basis.

Chennai, Trivandrum and Ahmedabad completed the top five lossmaking airports last year.

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