Adani Group in Talks to Manage BIA, Ratmalana and Mattala Airports in Sri Lanka

February 11, 2024

Negotiations are underway between the Adani Group and Sri Lankan authorities regarding the management of three key airports in the island nation. Among these airports is Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka's premier international gateway, along with Ratmalana Airport in Colombo and Mattala Airport.

According to Sri Lanka’s Minister for Tourism, Land, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Harin Fernando, discussions are ongoing between the two parties, with modalities possibly involving management contracts. Fernando revealed this development on Friday during the OTM travel show in Mumbai, stating, “There are plans to work with Adani Group for the management of airports.”

The move to engage a private partner for airport management comes as Sri Lanka experiences a resurgence in tourism, with foreign tourist arrivals doubling to 1.48 million in 2023 compared to the previous year. This surge in visitors has strained the country’s airport infrastructure, prompting the need for expansion and enhancement of facilities to improve the overall passenger experience.

If finalized, this deal would mark Adani Group’s inaugural venture into overseas aviation. However, the conglomerate already has a presence in Sri Lanka's ports and renewable energy sector. In November last year, the group secured significant funding for its west container terminal project in Colombo, a move seen as strategic to counterbalance Chinese influence in the region.
Currently, the Adani Group manages a portfolio of eight airports in India, including the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport, serving 23 per cent of the country’s passenger base.