Adanis fly high

On 27 February 2019, the Adani Group won the public-private partnership (PPP) bid for the operation of Guwahati Airport. The Adani Group has also won the bids for the other 5 airports (Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram) that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) put up for auction in December 2018. Having no previous experience in running airports, the port to power conglomerate with close ties to the ruling BJP government has in one swoop become the third largest airport operating private entity in India.

All six airports show some of the fastest growing passenger traffic in recent years with 5 out of 6 having grown over 78% since 2014-15.

Therefore, the privatization of airport operations has been strongly opposed by unions but with little avail. Hundreds of AAI employees went on a three-day hunger strike in December 2018 and later in February 2019, they struck en-masse across different cities against the bidding process leading to privatization but the government at Centre went ahead with the process, clearly benefiting a single business house – Adani.

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