‘6-10 airports to be offered in next phase of privatisation’

New Delhi:  The Centre is expected to offer 6-10 airports for the next stage of airport privatisation, a senior official said on Thursday.
The process that is expected to commence from FY22 will have 6-10 airports. At present, the Centre is in the process of identifying these airports which will be offered via competitive bidding to the private sector for a lease period of 50 years for operation, management and development of these assets.
Briefing about the Budget 2021-22 proposals for the aviation sector, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Kharola said that both profitable and non-profitable airports will be clubbed for bidding.
On Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to continue with the next round of airport privatisation on a lease basis.
She said that the next lot of airports will be monetised for operations and management concession. At present, six airports, namely Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru, have been awarded via a competitive bidding process.
On the fare price band, Kharola said this norm will be removed, as and when demand and capacity utilisation reaches normal levels.According to Kharola, till now only 60-65 per cent of the allowed capacity of 80 per cent has been utilised.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Centre had implemented a cap on domestic airfare. The price band has been extended till March 31, 2021. These fare bands came into force with effect from May 21, 2020.
It is based on the duration of a flight with seven route classification. The base minimum airfare of domestic flights in each category ranges has also been fixed from Rs 2,000 to Rs 6,500 and the maximum ranges from Rs 6,000 to Rs 18,600.
Airlines have to make available 20 per cent (earlier 40 per cent) of total seats in an aircraft at less than the midpoint price between the highest and lowest fares.
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