Kochi airport sees robust growth in passenger movement in the 2021 calendar

However, when compared to the pre-Covid time passenger movement at the airport, the numbers show that the air passenger movement is yet to revive.

Published: 07th January 2022 11:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th January 2022 11:08 PM   |  A+A-

An aerial view of the Cochin International Airport (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) witnessed a steady growth both in air traffic movements and passenger volume in the year 2021 compared to 2020. The data released from the airport shows that CIAL handled 43,06,661 passengers during the year 2021, compared to 33,37,830 in 2020, an increase of almost a million. The aircraft movement also witnessed growth from 30,737 in 2020 to 41,437 in 2021.

However, when compared to the pre-Covid time passenger movement at the airport, the numbers show that the air passenger movement is yet to revive. The Kochi airport had witnessed over 10 million total passenger movements in 2019 alone, whereas the 2021 figures show that they are still 50 per cent below its usual traffic.

With the sustained growth rate, CIAL retained its position as the third airport in the country in terms of international traffic throughout the year 2021. It handled 18,69,690 international passengers in 2021, compared to 14,82,004 in 2020. The domestic passenger volume increased from 18,55,826 to 24,36,971.

CIAL managing director S Suhas, IAS, attributed the traffic growth to the proactive measures taken by the management to attract more airlines. " CIAL's chairman, Pinarayi Vijayan, and the board of directors have consistently put in their effort to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs. By December 2021, CIAL was able to facilitate 185 weekly departures to the Middle East alone, in addition to the services to Europe, Sri Lanka, and the far east, " said Suhas.

The year 2021 also saw the resumption of direct flights to the United Kingdom and Singapore. In addition to its Sharjah services, Air Arabia started daily operations in Abu Dhabi for the first time in India. The domestic sector witnessed growth at par with the pre-pandemic period. The winter schedule that began operations in October 2021, called for 50 departures per day.

CIAL’s timely response to the UAE’s supreme council of disaster management’s guidelines helped the airport host the UAE services from July. Subsequently, CIAL ramped up both rapid PCR and RT-PCR testing, and now the cumulative capacity of the three testing labs stationed at the airport has been enhanced to 900 at a time.


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