Adani Enterprises, the flagship company of Indian conglomerate Adani Group, has emerged as the highest bidder to manage, operate and develop facilities at five airports in the country.

Out of six airports, the Adani Group was the highest bidder for Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Mangaluru, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) and Lucknow.

The decision on the Guwahati Airport has been put on hold following a court order.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) invited bids for the six projects in December 2018 on the basis of a per-passenger fee.

Almost 32 technical bids were submitted by ten companies, including GMR Group, Adani Group, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Fairfax India, AMP Group and PNC Infratech.

“Since financial criteria was the only eligibility, the group will be awarded the airports as soon as formalities are cleared.”

Adani Group quoted Rs168 per passenger for the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Rs115 for Mangaluru Airport, Rs174 for Jaipur, Rs171 for Lucknow and Rs177 for the Ahmedabad Airport.

The competing bidders could not match the offers made by the Adani Group. The wins mark Adani Group’s foray into the Indian aviation sector.

A senior official of the AAI was quoted by Business Standard as saying: “Adani Group is the highest bidder for five airports. Since financial criteria was the only eligibility, the group will be awarded the airports as soon as formalities are cleared. After the award of bids, Adanis can take control of the airport.”

According to the AAI’s request for proposal document, the winning concessionaire shall be responsible for operations and management of the existing airport assets.

The company will also design, engineer, finance, construct and develop the additional air-side, terminal, city-side and land-side infrastructure.

Adani Group recently acquired a 23.5% stake in Mumbai Airport.