Cochin Airport emerges 3rd busiest in the country in international traffic

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 08, 2021

The domestic sector too picks up

A long period after the second wave of the pandemic, that tattered the aviation sector, positive signs began to appear with the airports in the country recording a gradual increase in both passenger traffic and aircraft movement. Cochin airport has increased its tally in international traffic from the fourth position to the third during the period of January-May. The domestic sector is also picking up witnessing a two-fold increase in June.

CIAL handled 5,89,460 international passengers during the five months and attained the third position after Delhi and Mumbai airports. During April, it facilitated 1,38,625 international passengers, becoming the second busiest airport in the country in terms of international traffic. During the initial five month period, the total passenger volume registered was 15,56,366.

CIAL Managing Director S Suhas attributed the increase in traffic to the efficacy of the State government in establishing Kerala as one of the safest places to arrive during the pandemic period as well as CIAL’s pro-active approach in making the airport a safe travel hub. “The Kerala government installed free RT PCR testing facilities at all airports for the international arrival passengers. An integrated travel facilitation strategy was launched at the airport wherein officials of district administration, health, revenue, police departments have been working round–the–clock for increasing the comfort level of the passengers.”

Covid protocol

CIAL has adopted the Covid protocol management at par with international standards. It implemented innovative ideas like UV baggage disinfectation system at the conveyor belts of both terminals. These approaches have contributed to the effort of boosting the confidence of the passengers, said Suhas.

CIAL has implemented several measures to ensure the steady growth of traffic. As soon as the Dubai Authorities made amendments in its travel protocol mandating a rapid-PCR test for Indian passengers, Cochin airport could establish the same. A meeting convened by the Managing Director with all stakeholders including the representatives of airlines called for a concerted approach to ensure hassle-free movement of passengers in the terminal and increase the traffic growth. 

Following these participatory actions, the airport saw a steady increase in passenger volume during June. From just shy of 3,000 on June 1, the passenger volume increased by twofold to 7,012 on June 30, touching the total figure for the month to 1,43,366.

The airport handled 1,139 aircraft movements during June. CIAL which has been handling 10 million passengers annually during the pre-pandemic period is all set to facilitate a projected surge in the aviation sector for the forthcoming months, he added.

Published on July 08, 2021

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