Countdown begins! Delhi and Mumbai airport bids due in 2 weeks

SYDNEY (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) - After several months of delays, the Indian Government has released the transaction documents relating to the restructuring and modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports to eight short-listed bidders. The privatisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports is a showcase event for the new government. Revenues generated by both airports reached INR8.4 billion in 2004/05 and is expected to reach INR10 billion in 2005/06.

It is a high profile offering, attracting significant foreign investor interest. Accordingly, the government has been determined to ensure all issues with the process are resolved. It is also just the start of what is likely to be a lengthy process of airport privatisation in India involving billions of dollars of assets. The Prime Minister has recently approved Kolkata and Chennai as the next airports on the privatisation block.

A new deadline of 14-Sep-05 has been set to submit technical and financial bids, while the winning bid is now expected to be announced by the end of 2005. The resumption of the Delhi/Mumbai privatisation process, and the recent financial closure of the new Hyderabad International Airport, signals India’s airport system is really starting to move after decades of inactivity and decay.

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