KOCHI: After a 72-hour shutdown, Cochin International Airport (CIAL), Nedumbassery resumed operations on Sunday. And IndiGo Flight 6E 1735 en route from Abu Dhabi was the first to touch down on the tarmac at 12.15 pm while Bengaluru- bound Air Asia Flight I51125 at 1.35 pm was the first to take off since operations resumed at CIAL.
“As the post-flood recovery works have been completed, CIAL decided to resume all operations at noon on Sunday,” an official release said.
The water from the apron and a portion of the runway on the eastern side of the airport was pumped out by Saturday morning. Later, as part of ensuring safe operations, aircraft was operated on Saturday evening on test basis.
“We feared, if the rain persisted, flights will have to be diverted again to other airports.” Sajil of Kodungalloor one of the passenger who arrived on the Abu Dhabi flight. Expats, especially those from the Gulf countries, were set to fly down here for Bakrid holidays. “ But after flights to Cochin Airport were suspended, several Malayalees had to cancel their vacation plans. Expatriates have decided to stay back and celebrate Bakrid there. Even ticket charges have soared due to flood and upcoming festive season,” said Suhai, who arrived from Muscat. Several flights scheduled for arrival and departure at CIAL remained cancelled on Sunday. CIAL authorities expect that a majority of the flight operators will resume service from Monday onwards.
The meeting chaired by Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar on Sunday for taking stock decided to direct CIAL to find a lasting solution to flooding at the airport.