GMR group has bid for airport development projects in Greece and Kuwait to add to its three overseas assets.

Last week Srinivas Bommidala, group’s chairman in charge of international airports met Greek officials to discuss investment opportunities in the country. Bommidala was part of an industry delegation accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his maiden Greece visit.

GMR group already has an under construction airport project on the island of Crete in Greece and has expressed interest in development of airport in Greek city of Kalamata. In June, the group qualified to participate in a tender to operate and maintain Kuwait international airport’s terminal 2.

“Greece, under its current leadership, is actively inviting foreign investment and GMR is actively looking for investment opportunities in the country including Kalamata airport,” a GMR Airports spokesperson said

“Progress at the Heraklion airport in Crete has been commendable. Construction has advanced to about 25 per cent and is aligned with project’s timeline. Ongoing efforts include terminal building concreting, external access road development, runway and taxiway construction,” the spokesperson added.

Passenger capacity

In FY2023, GMR group’s five operating airports handled 100 million passengers. Delhi, Hyderabad and Mopa (North Goa) airports handled 87 per cent of the traffic and the remainder 13 per cent was at Cebu (Phillipines) and Medan airports (Indonesia).

Plans have been drawn up to expand Medan airport’s annual capacity from 10 to 15 million passengers and the special purpose vehicle (SPV) running the project is raising funds for the same.

GMR Airports Infrastructure Ltd’s revenue from operations rose nearly 40 per cent on a year-on-year basis to ₹6,693 crore in FY2023 while net loss declined 25 per cent to ₹839 crore in the same period.

GMR group’s first overseas airport investment was in Turkey, when it picked up 40 per cent stake in Sahiba Gokcen airport in 2007. Seven years later, it sold off its stake to its project partner MAHB for around ₹1,900 crore which was 3x of its investment.

“GMR group’s strategy has been to choose airport projects with high growth potential that can deliver superior returns. It has been divesting stakes from some projects and these have been dictated by group’s funding needs. Only its Maldives airport project ran into problems due to political issues. The project contract was scrapped and eventually the group won relief in arbitration,” said an analyst tracking the group