KOCHI: More than a crore passengers, mostly domestic, travelled via Cochin International Airport (CIAL) in 2018-19. This is the second consecutive year that the airport has touched the crore mark, but a higher domestic transit is a first.
Out of the 1.02 crore passengers who travelled through CIAL, 52.68 lakhs travelled to domestic destinations. This is the first time in the history of the airport that the volume of domestic passengers surpassed the international. The total aircraft operations (number of landings and take offs) for this period was 71,871 against 69,665 in the previous FY.
The total passenger volume handled by all the four airports in the state in FY 2018-19 comes close to 1.65 crore; out of which CIAL’s share stands at 1.02 crore which is 61.8 per cent. The exact figure of passenger traffic for the just concluded FY is 1,02,01,089 against 1,01,19,064 that of FY 2017-18.
The aircraft operations in CIAL had started on 10th June 1999. It handled (till March 2000) 4.95 lakh passengers in the initial year. The first full FY, ie 2001-02 saw a passenger volume of 7.72 lakh. The passenger volume crossed 10 lakh during 2002-03. The cumulative figure (the total passengers travelled through CIAL since its inception) touched one crore in seven years. It added up the next the crore in just three years and the third crore in another 2.5 years. CIAL handled more than 50 lakh passengers in 2013-14 alone. It increased to 77.57 lakhs in 2016-17 and crossed 10 million mark (in single FY) during 2017-18. It repeated the 10 million figure in FY 2018-19.
To accommodate the ever increasing domestic traffic, CIAL renovated its terminal -1 with the state of the art equipment and hospitality services. The T-1 was put into full scale operation on 21st March 2019. As per the ongoing summer schedule the airport handles 1672 aircraft movements weekly. It offers direct connectivity to 23 Indian cities and 16 international destinations.