Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is the third busiest airport in India, according to the latest statistics released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The airport stood at the third position in the country in terms of international traffic in December 2021, a feat it has been enjoying for more than a year.
According to AAI’s data on international passenger traffic, Cochin airport recorded 3,01,338 passengers. Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport tops the list with 8,42,582 passengers, while Mumbai airport stood second with 4,51,212 passengers. Chennai airport claimed the fourth position in terms of international traffic with 2,46,387 passengers in December 2021.
Kerala is a state with a high number of NRI and witnesses international traffic aplenty. During the pandemic, Kochi airport ensured smooth traffic and enhanced connectivity to bring back its residents from various countries. Kerala has two more airports, at Kozhikode and Trivandrum, both of which came in the top 10 list in terms of international traffic in 2021. Calicut airport attained the sixth position, while Thiruvananthapuram occupied the 8th position in the list.
Cochin airport took proactive measures to improve traffic, says CIAL MD
Cochin International Airport handled 43,06,661 passengers in the year 2021, among which 18,69,690 were international passengers. The airport also witnessed a hike in passenger volume compared to 2020 by ten lakhs. CIAL’s Managing Director S Suhas IAS attributed the feat to the proactive measures taken by the management to attract more airlines.
“CIAL chairman Pinarayi Vijayan and the Board of Directors consistently made efforts to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs during the pandemic. Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, CIAL successfully facilitated smooth traffic. A slew of measures was implemented to instil confidence in passengers and other stakeholders. 2021 witnessed the resumption of direct services to the UK by Air India. Singapore Airlines started operations in December 2021, and we hope we can host services in the Kochi-Bangkok sector soon,” he said.
The aircraft movement from Kochi airport also witnessed growth from 30,737 in 2020 to 41,437 in 2021.
Overall, the airports in India served a total of 25.12 million passengers in December 2021, compared to 23.23 million in November. There has been a consistent increase in passenger traffic since August 2021, with 19.64 million in October, 15.44 million in September and 14.26 million in August.