The Adani Group,
headed by Gautam Adani, has, in just over two years after entering the
aviation space, become the largest operator in India. Through the Adani
Airports Holding Limited (AAHL), it manages the airports at Ahmedabad,
Lucknow, Mangaluru, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram (all the airports
were won through a competitive bid that was announced in 2019). Adani
also bought the Mumbai International Airport from the GVK group - today,
it is the jewel in the crown. The six airports along with the Mumbai airport,
handled nearly 80 million passengers in 2019-2020, approximately a quarter
of India's total air traffic of 341 million.
It is no wonder that the Adani Group said
in a statement that “AAHL is now India's largest airport infrastructure
company, accounting for 25 percent airport footfalls. With the addition
of MIAL (Mumbai International Airport Limited), it will now also control
33 per cent of India's air cargo traffic.”
The group's airports' business model is
one of "hybrid revenue". Simply put, the company earns from
airport-related activities such as cargo and ground handling, parking,
and housing, and aircraft fuelling, and also non-aero functions such as
income from duty-free shops, retail licences, advertising, parking space,
and development rights on land adjacent to the airport.
The acquisition of management of the seven
airports has enabled Adani to be the biggest private airport operator
in India. That means only the government of India, which controls 12 of
the major ports and a host of airports through AAI, is AAHL's main rival
as far as airports and ports infrastructure is concerned. Incidentally,
airports and ports are important and necessary for passenger and cargo
movements in what is considered one of the fastest-growing economies of
The Adani Group has come, according to aviation
experts, at the right time. Airline traffic – both domestic and
international – is seeing a steady rise. The group believes it will
be serving directly to a 300+ mn-strong consumer base comprising fliers
as well as non-fliers.
These seven airports – especially
Mumbai – have strong cargo links. We asked Jeet Adani, who spearheads
the Adani Airports business, about the group’s plans for cargo.
seven airports, what are Adani Airports Cargo’s plans to boost cargo
tonnage. What are your plans for the immediate future as well as long
our airports present immense air cargo growth potential, both domestic
and international. In the short term, focus is on increasing interim cargo
infrastructure in the quickest way possible so that all airports provide
enough cargo capacity and infrastructure to improve service levels, provide
seamless IT connectivity and improve volumes. In the (not so) long term,
all our airports will be equipped with Integrated Cargo Terminals (ICT)
with all products and services under one roof (including Transshipment)
while the ICTs will be designed and developed to provide enough capacity
at least for the next 5 years, based on foreseeable volume demand. All
the ICTs will be modular and scalable, with some being highly automated.
Roll out of ICTs are expected to bring global service and infrastructure
standards to our airports.
you chalked out special plans to boost the pharma cargo and how do you
plan to implement that?
course. Some of our airports are already major gateways for pharma exports.
In some, we have made some significant investments in the recent past
to develop necessary terminal infrastructure to facilitate growth of export
of pharma while in others we are actively working on developing global
standard pharma logistics centres. We do see pharma has great growth potential
lot has been talked about Krishi Udan 2.0. How are you preparing to service
all our ICTs, we are developing cool rooms to facilitate movement of perishables.
This is both in domestic and international terminals. We are working closely
with the concerned government agencies to implement the necessary process
and regulatory changes to contribute to the growth of perishables.
transshipment cargo has been a major issue for metro airports in the country.
How are you planning to grow transshipment cargo?
is, indeed. Transshipment process also needs to be defined, standardized
and monitored, across the country, through a well thought out TP Policy
which is a work in progress by the Ministry. We do see great opportunities
to grow this segment, across all its variants such as I2I, I2D, QRT, QWT,
etc. Where possible and relevant, we have plans to develop airside dedicated
TP facilities for efficient processing of TP shipments on airside. In
all our ICTs, the design includes a dedicated TP corridor for seamless
processing of TP shipments within ICT, to facilitate QWT shipments. Our
systems are already intelligent enough to support very efficient processing
of all types of TP movements.
there plans to set up Air Freight Stations for domestic cargo to help
declutter the airport cargo terminal?
have no plans to set up Air Freight Stations for domestic air cargo, at
the moment. We believe decluttering is expected to happen with adoption
of automation, process optimization/efficiency and IT integration at the