Shiv Sena workers have torn down an Adani signboard, displayed at the western express highway near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai and restored the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport.
The Sainiks, led by Sanjay Kadam and others, were protesting against what they alleged the AAHL's unilateral move to abruptly "change" the name of the CSMIA and replace it with the Adani Group brand name.
The Sainiks were protesting against what they alleged the AAHL's unilateral move to abruptly "change" the name of the CSMIA and replace it with the Adani Group brand name. | Twitter/@ANI
"The AAHL has merely only been permitted to manage the Mumbai Airport and they cannot make any changes to the name, etc. This is an insult to the people of Maharashtra. We shall not tolerate this," said one Sainik at the site.
Raising slogans of "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai ho", the Sainiks trooped onto the landscaped garden, planted saffron flags, and uprooted the AAHL name-hoarding in English and Marathi before stomping out of there. An AAHL spokesperson said that the company has only "replaced the previous branding with Adani Airports branding" after the company took over the prestigious airport last month.
The sainiks raised slogans of "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki jai ho" | Twitter/@ANI
"No change has been made to the CSMIA's branding or positioning at the airport terminal. The branding at the CSMIA is in compliance with the norms and guidelines of the Airport Authority of India Ltd," the spokesperson said. The AAHL assured it would continue to adhere to all the guidelines laid out by the government in the interest of the aviation community at large.
Earlier this month, Adani Group said it has taken over the management of Mumbai International airport from the GVK group. The Group last August had announced that it would acquire GVK Group's stake in Mumbai airport.
Adani signboard torn down | Twitter/@ANI
Adani Group will have 74 per cent stake in Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, post the stake purchase transaction, with 50.5 per cent being bought from GVK Group and 23.5 per cent from minority partners including Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), and Bidvest Group, it had said.
Mumbai International Airport is the country's second busiest airport (after Delhi's IGIA) by both passenger and cargo traffic.
With eight airports (in its management and development portfolio), Adani Airport Holdings Limited (AAHL) is now India's largest airport infrastructure company, accounting for 25 per cent airport footfalls, the company said in the statement.
With the addition of MIAL, AAHL will now also control 33 per cent of India's air cargo traffic, it added.
According to the company while the world navigates its way out of an unprecedented crisis, post-pandemic demand for air travel in India and the rest of the world is expected to surge.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects global passenger traffic to recover to 88 per cent of pre-COVID levels by 2022 and exceed pre-COVID levels in 2023, it said.
With India becoming to be the world's third largest aviation market by 2024, the addition of the Mumbai International Airport to the Adani Group's existing portfolio of six airports, and thereafter the operationalization of the greenfield Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited (NMIAL) provides a transformational aviation platform allowing the Adani Group to interlink its B2B and B2C business as well as create several strategic adjacencies for the Group's other B2B businesses, it stated.
AAHL also said it will begin the construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport next month and complete the financial closure in the next 90 days. This new international airport will be commissioned in 2024.
(With inputs from agencies)
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