Indian airport investment and privatisation on the move again

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India has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in the past few months, but what was the world's third largest aviation market in the world before the pandemic must continue to look to the future and cater for an eventual return to 'normal', and particularly so as independent traffic forecasts predict that it will grow more quickly than most other countries.

Airports Authority of India is doing that by continuing with its greenfield airport programme. Six of 21 airports have opened, under a variety of ownership modes, and a further USD3.4 billion will be invested. Most of those six airports grew very quickly, justifying the investment.

Moreover, the long-awaited new Delhi and Mumbai airports appear now to be moving in the right direction, with concessionaires in place, and a further concession round on secondary level airports should follow shortly.

Foreign companies may not play such a big role in these concessions, since India's own Adani Airports has made its mark as an operator of eight of them already, with more to follow.

Nor should GMR, which has had its problems, be overlooked following its equity and 'industrial partnership' agreements with France's Groupe ADP.

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