The Adani Group might operate three Sri Lankan airports

Major Indian conglomerate Adani Group has made a significant entry into the airport industry. The airports it develops and operates around India through its subsidiary, Adani Airport Holdings Limited hold a lot of significance. Through partnerships and acquisitions, they are rapidly expanding with the goal of becoming a leader in the nation’s aviation sector. They make significant investments in modernising technology and infrastructure with the goal of giving cargo and passengers an exceptional experience.

Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s principal international gateway, is one of three airports on the island country that the Adani Group is negotiating to administer with the Sri Lankan government.

On Feb 9, 2024, Harin Fernando, Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism, land, sports, and young affairs, said that the two parties are now discussing the details, which may also include management contracts. Along with this airport, there is also Mattala Airport, which was named the world’s emptiest international airport seven years ago, and Ratmalana Airport in Colombo.

Fernando said , “There are plans to work with Adani Group for the management of airports,” while speaking on the side-lines of the OTM travel event in Mumbai. In 2023, there was a doubling of foreign visitor arrivals to Sri Lanka, reaching 1.48 million. But the country’s airport system is struggling because of this. The expansion of the amenities and the improvement of the passenger experience are the main focus areas of the Adani Sri Lanka project.

First attempt

Including the soon-to-be-opened Navi Mumbai Airport, the Adani Group’s network of eight airports in India carries 23% of all passengers. The Adani Group has already made an appearance in Sri Lanka’s renewable energy industry and ports. The Group’s west container port project in Colombo received $553 million in finance from the US International Development Finance Corporation in November 2023. A lot of people thought the US was trying to limit China’s influence in the area by lending its support.

‘We are pleased by the increase in tourists. We got 208,000 visitors in January and 60,000 in the first week of February. In addition to future reservations looking well, our figures are trending nicely. In 2024, we want to welcome 2.3 million visitors, and we are optimistic that we will achieve this goal. Four million visits are our target by 2030, said Fernando. According to him, that’s why we need to embark on huge development initiatives.

In CY 2023, 37% of all arrivals came from India, making it the biggest source market for the nation. Sri Lanka’s government is promoting its marinas to affluent Indians in an effort to attract maritime tourists.

Key Focus Areas

Several critical sectors will likely be prioritised by the Adani Sri Lanka project, with the goal of bringing about revolutionary change and maximising value generation. Among them are:

Modernisation and Upgrading of Airport Infrastructure: The airport’s current infrastructure, including terminals, runways, navigation systems, and ground handling capabilities will be modernised and upgraded by Adani Group. Sri Lanka’s airports will be able to compete on an international level thanks to these improvements, which will boost operational efficiency, safety standards, and passenger comfort.

Integration of Technology: State-of-the-art technological solutions, such as digital passenger services, biometric identification, and smart airport management systems, will improve efficiency, make better use of resources, and make the travel experience better for everyone. The knowledge and experience of Adani Group in using technology to boost productivity and creativity would be crucial in this respect.

Airport Capacity Expansion: Adani Group may take steps to boost the capacity of current airports in order to handle more passengers and more flights in response to the rising demand for air travel in Sri Lanka and the broader South Asian area. In addition to bolstering the economy in areas like hospitality, tourism, and commerce, this development will help the nation achieve its goal of becoming a regional aviation center.

Improved Airport Viability: The Adani Group has a track record of successfully commercialising airport real estate and other non-aeronautical income sources, which could translate into improved airport viability in Sri Lanka. Adani Group’s goal is to improve the airport experience for passengers via the Adani Sri Lanka project.


Sri Lanka and Adani Group have a great chance to work together to operate three major airports. This might revolutionise the aviation industry in the nation and open up new growth and development possibilities. Sri Lanka hopes to improve connectivity, boost economic activity, and increase the overall passenger experience by utilising Adani Group’s knowledge of infrastructure construction and airport administration. Nevertheless, thorough preparation, involvement of all relevant parties, and compliance with established airport best practices are all necessary to fully exploit the opportunities presented by this collaboration.

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