Airports continue to report losses amid Covid turbulence
- The losses were more than double those in the previous year, when 91 of these airports reported total losses ₹1,368.82 crore, according to data submitted by V.K. Singh, minister of state for civil aviation in the Lok Sabha.
As many as 107 of the 136 airports operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) made losses in FY21, losing a total of ₹2,948.97 crore as passengers stopped flying amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The losses were more than double those in the previous year, when 91 of these airports reported total losses ₹1,368.82 crore, according to data submitted by V.K. Singh, minister of state for civil aviation in the Lok Sabha.
In comparison, during FY19, 101 of the AAI-operated airports made losses totalling ₹1,668.69 crore.
Of the 136 airports operated by state-run AAI, 18 were not operational during FY19, while 19 weren’t operational during FY20 and FY21.
Of these airports, most are fully owned by AAI, while the airport operator owns a stake in a small number of airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Kannur through a joint venture.
According to the figures submitted by Singh, most airports in tier-I and -II cities reported losses during the past three years. For instance, popular tier-II airports such as Bhopal, Aurangabad, Belgaum, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Delhi (Safdarjung), Dimapur, Dibrugarh, Gaya, Hubli and Imphal reported losses during FY19, FY20, and FY21.
Other prominent airports such as Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Leh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ranchi, Vadodara, Vijayawada, Pekyong, Udaipur, Surat, Rajahmundry, Madurai and Mangalore reported losses during FY21 while reporting some profit during one or both of the previous years.
The country’s busiest airport, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), reported a loss of ₹111.77 crore during FY19, a profit of ₹13.15 crore in FY20 and a loss of ₹317.41 crore in FY21.
The second busiest, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), reported a profit of ₹96.1 crore in FY19, a profit of ₹2.54 crore in FY20 and a loss of ₹384.81 crore in FY21.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata reported a profit of ₹461.19 crore in 2018-19, a profit of ₹545.07 crore in 2019-20, and a loss of ₹31.04 crore in 2020-21.
Interestingly, most regional airports have been loss-making since 2018-19 despite the government’s push to connect smaller airports through the regional connectivity scheme.