After doing away with the move to privatise four Indian airports, the government has decided to look at other options, as is the case with the airports at Ahmedabad and Jaipur, which will be managed by Singapore's Changi Airport, a first for a foreign company.
The other two are Chennai and Kolkata airports.
India's air traffic is skewed towards six major airports — Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata — which handle about 60% of the traffic. The Narendra Modi government's move needs to be seen in this context.
India handled about 1.18 crore passengers during the July-September 2015 period, of which 60.64 lakh flew out of India. In all, five Indian and 76 foreign carriers operated international flights to and from India.
Domestic carriers flew 6.6 crore passengers between January and October this year, up almost 20% from 5.5 crore passengers carried in the corresponding period last year.
The agreement to hand over the operations to Changi Airport is between the governments of India and Singapore, according to a senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official.
"This was signed in the last week of November, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Singapore," AAI chairman RK Srivastava was quoted as saying by Economic Times.
According to AAI's annual report for 2013-14, it maintained 125 airports, of which 68 are operational. The AAI's total revenues for the year stood at Rs 8,170 crore and net profit was Rs 1,141 crore.