India decides on air terminal modernization bids amid protests

Germany's Fraport and the Airports Company South Africa and their Indian partners have won the contracts to modernize India's main airports in New Delhi and Bombay, the aviation minister said Tuesday. Labor unions angrily protested the privatization move. The GMR-Fraport consortium, a joint venture between India's GMR and Fraport AG that operates the Frankfurt airport, won the bid to modernize the New Delhi airport, while a collaboration of India GVK with Airports Company South Africa were successful in their bid for the Bombay airport, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters.

The Indian government has launched a sweeping program to modernize its aging airports, currently struggling to cope with booming air traffic brought about by swift the country's economic growth.

Patel said the federal Cabinet would formally approve the names of the two bidders on Wednesday.

The Union of Airport Association Employees said it would launch strikes at all Indian airports as soon as the winners were formally announced.

"Whether you call it a strike or boycott, it doesn't matter. We have informed the minister. All the unions across the country are prepared for it," M. K. Ghoshal, the union convenor, was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India, reports the AP.


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