Adani Group in talks to run three Sri Lankan airports, deets inside

Adani Group could manage three airports in Sri Lanka, including Bandarnaike International, according to Sri Lankan minister.

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Courtesy: ANI

Industrialist Gautam Adani-led Adani Group could manage three Sri Lankan airports. Harin Fernando, the island nation's minister for tourism, land, sports, and youth affairs said that the group is in talks with Sri Lankan authorities regarding the same.

Three airports, including Bandarnaike International Airport in Colombo, are being offered to the Indian commercial giant as part of ongoing negotiations. The main international entry point into Sri Lanka was named for the country's fourth prime minister, Solomon Bandarnaike, and it opened its doors in 1970.

The other two are Mattala Airport and Ratmalana Airport, both located in Colombo. Despite its huge size, the airport was named "The World's Emptiest International Airport" by Forbes in 2017 because of the low number of flights.

The decision to bring in a private partner to oversee airports comes at a time when tourism in Sri Lanka is experiencing a boom, with 1.48 million (14.8 lakh) visitors in 2023, nearly double that of the previous year. With 37% of tourist arrivals, India accounted with largest number in 2023. 

However, the official statement is yet awaited.

First Aviation Foray

It would be Adani Group’s first overseas aviation foray; if the deal goes through. The group already has its presence with ports and renewable energy sector in Sri Lanka. Notably, the group secured $553 million funding from the US international Development Finance Corporation, last November, for its west container terminal project in Colombo. 

It is worth to be noted that the Adani Group already has a portfolio of eight airports (including the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport) in the country, serving 23% of India’s passenger base.