The Cochin International Airport, which had been shut down since August 14 due to flooding and torrential rain, became operational after a fortnight. The first flight landed in the Airport premises on Wednesday around 2 pm. IndiGo flight 667 from Ahmedabad to Kochi was the first flight that landed at the CIAL. 33 flights arrived at the airport whereas 30 flights departed including both domestic and international ones.
Relief Efforts During the Catastrophe
Various airlines like Air India, Jet Airways, GoAir, and IndiGo organised relief operations during the catastrophic time to help all those affected by the flooding. Air India waived off the cargo charges for transporting medicine and other essential goods to Kerala. Jet Airways operated special flights between Bengaluru and the Kochi navy airfield. They operated from August 21. Jet Airways also employed special flights to and from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Dubai, and Dammam to Thiruvananthapuram. Another airline, GoAir operated special flights from Mumbai to Thiruvananthapuram to accommodate passengers to/from Kochi. IndiGo also deployed special flights for the people stranded in the state.
IndiGo Airline Became the First Airline to Resume Service
IndiGo became the first airline to resume its full-scale operations in the state. In a press release, the airline said, “IndiGo will ensure cancellation and rescheduling waiver to passengers travelling to and from Kochi, till 10 September 2018 for bookings made before 22 August 2018.” The airline also advised its passengers to plan their travel through the official website.
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Initially, the airport was expected to begin operation by August 26th but it was extended by three days when the majority of stakeholders, including airlines and ground handling agencies, expressed their apprehension over mobilising manpower too soon.
Image Source: Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) FB Page