Govt to start airport privatisation from April next year – The Economic Times

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The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is examining a possibility of selling loss making airports along with a profitable one.

NEW DELHI: The government is set to start the process of award of about 10 airports in the third phase of airport privatisation.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is examining a possibility of selling loss making airports along with a profitable one.

“AAI is examining giving non-profitable airport and profit making airports as a package. We could see six to 10 airports being taken up,” Pradeep Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Thursday. The airports will be given to the private sector for a 50 years,” Kharola said.

He added that Budget 2021-22 had provided an increase of 35 per cent at Rs 600 crore for the regional connectivity scheme. In the previous Budget Rs 430 crore had been provided under this head but the number increased to RS 700 crore

Officials of AAI said it raised Rs 2,100 crore from banks for meeting its capital expenditures for the year. Kharola added that the funds had been raised at very good terms without getting into details.

The Secretary said the Budget had given several tax incentives for aircraft leasing companies to set up their operations in GIFT city in Ahmedabad.

“With the leasing companies coming to India, the cost of leasing for airlines will come down and help airlines,” kharola said explaining the benefits.

On the issue of fare bands on domestic flight tickets, he said they will not be a permanent feature, adding that once the number of flyers come back to pre- COVID level they could be done away with.

When domestic flights restarted on May 25 after a gap of two months the government introduced a fare bands so that a passenger did not have to exorbitant fares.

The current fare band is in place till March 31 and a call on extension of the band is likely to be taken closer to the date, said Kharola.

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