KOCHI: Kochi airport retained its spot as the third busiest airport in India in 2021 owing to its efforts that ensured smooth traffic and enhanced connectivity during the pandemic. As per the latest statistics released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the airport ranked third in the country in terms of international traffic in December too, an achievement it has been enjoying since the beginning of 2021. Two of the remaining three airports in the state also figure among the top 10 in international traffic in 2021. They are Kozhikode (6th) and Thiruvananthapuram (8th).
As per the AAI data on international traffic for December 2021, Delhi airport topped with 8,42,582 passengers, while Mumbai retained the second place with 4,51,212 passengers. Kochi airport saw a footfall of 3,01,338 passengers, while Chennai handled 2,46,387 passengers to claim the fourth spot.
Kochi airport handled a total of 43,06,661 passengers in entire 2021. Of them, 18,69,690 were international passengers. The airport’s passenger volume increased by 10 lakh in 2021 than 2020. Cochin Airport International Ltd (CIAL) MD S Suhas IAS attributed the growth in traffic to the proactive measures taken by the management to attract more airlines.
“CIAL chairman Pinarayi Vijayan and the board of directors consistently made efforts to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs during the pandemic. Despite the spike in Covid cases, CIAL successfully managed to facilitate smooth traffic. A slew of measures was implemented to instil confidence in passengers and other stakeholders. Last year (2021) witnessed the resumption of direct services to the UK by Air India. Singapore Airlines started operations in December 2021 and we hope we can host services in the Kochi-Bangkok sector soon,” he said.
Overall, Indian airports catered to a total of 25.12 million passengers in December 2021, compared to 23.23 million in November, 19.64 million in October, 15.44 million in September and 14.26 million in August. Meanwhile, Indian airports handled 22.13 million domestic passengers in December, up from 20.72 million in November, while international passengers rose to 2.99 million in December from 2.51 million in November.
T’Puram and Kozhikode also in top 10 chart
Two of the remaining three airports in the state also figure among the top 10 in international traffic in 2021. They are Kozhikode (6th) and Thiruvananthapuram (8th).