The commissioning of the business jet terminal has facilitated Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) to join the elite club of four airports in the country having such a dedicated facility. The other three are New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The ₹30 crore facility has achieved a faster growth in 100 days of its opening with landing of 100 private jets and generating a revenue of over ₹1 crore in the last two months. CIAL, next year, is eyeing 1,000 landings of business jets with an average of five landings per day, says S Suhas, Managing Director.

While the business terminals in metros charge up to $4,000 per flight, the rate offered by CIAL is less than $1,200.

The company is looking at a growth in chartered tourism which will integrate business jet services, tourism and international business conferences. The movement of HNIs (high net worth individuals) also accentuates the idea of cost effectiveness , he said.

The business jet operations in the country had grown by around 37 per cent during 2021-22, facilitating around 800 operations. The potential is great for the foreseeable future, he added. Hospitality and aviation sectors saw a stupendous growth of 114 per cent and 75 per cent respectively during the same time period. Around 65 per cent of the State’s air passengers are handled at the CIAL. This has helped the State achieve in the field of aviation, he said.

Rise in jet chartering

However, Shoby T Paul, CEO of the jet charter company Halo Airways said that CIAL’s handling charges are comparatively amongst the highest. If the authorities take adequate actions to bring the charges down, a promising growth in jet charters to Kochi is guaranteed, thereby giving a boost to the the tourism sector

Of late, there has been a steady rise in demand for jet chartering on account of frequent trips of HNIs for business and leisure. A large section of flyers, including corporate leaders, celebrities and top politicians regard it as a reliable and comfortable way to fly, he said.

Halo Air offers flights for rates ranging from ₹2 lakh to ₹8 lakh per flying hour. A chartered flight from Bangalore to Kochi is priced at ₹4.6 lakhs excluding taxes.

The recently concluded IPL auctions in Kochi also provided a significant boost to CIAL’s jet terminal with the landing of around 11 private jets.