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Noida International Airport gathers steam as SBI approves Rs 3,725 crore loan

Noida’s aspirations to take to the skies is all set to take off. The State Bank of India (SBI) has greenlit the credit sanction of Rs 3,725 crore for the development of the Jewar airport a.k.a Noida International Airport (NIA).

The Yamuna International Airport Private Limited (YIAPL), a subsidiary of Zurich Airport International (ZIA), is responsible for putting Noida on the aviation map. The funding is a testament to the financial viability of the airport and will open the gates for the laying of the foundation stone and subsequent operations. ZIA had won the rights for the project by outbidding Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holdings Limited and Adani. SBI coming in as a partner at this crucial juncture is an added bonus.

SBI had sanctioned the loan on a door-to-door loan tenor of 20 years. In simple words, the entire principal plus the interest will have to be repaid within 20 years. SBI’s interest in the project underlines its belief that airports and the aviation industry in general, will play a critical role in India’s future growth. With travel restrictions being lifted and flyers taking to the skies again, SBI’s bet might just pay off handsomely.

Private airports are the all the buzz these days as the government looks to take its strategic disinvestment plans to the next level. Privatization of public sector undertakings (PSUs) has become a priority for the Centre as it looks to offload its stakes in airports. The presence of players like Adani, SBI and now ZIA, bodes well for the airport industry. The Adani Group, in particular, has made the most of this opportunity, snapping up six airports in Guwahati, Lucknow, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

The Group’s latest acquisition, Mumbai International Airport, is a jewel in its crown. Adani has a 74 per cent in the airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the country and the world. In fact, the Group’s chairman, Gautam Adani, expressed his delight at the annual general meeting, saying that one in every four passengers flies through an Adani airport.

Although the aviation industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, experts predict that the rise of the working class and the widening middle-class demography would boost post-pandemic air travel. And it is not just passenger traffic that is expected to grow. Freight traffic is also on the rise and Indian airports alone have the potential to reach 17 million tonnes by 2040. It is now clear why parties like ZIA, DIAL, Adani and SBI are investing in airports.

The government also expects Indian freight and air logistics have the potential to become the most efficient and profitable by 2030. Accordingly, $ 1.83 billion has been earmarked for the development of airport infrastructure and the aviation industry by 2026. If all goes according to plan, soon everybody can fly


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