There is no doubt that the government is pushing for more and more intra-state air connectivity as more and more airports start service. On the same lines, Cochin international airport limited, (Cial) is also exploring possibility to introduce new flights between Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Kozhikode. Going by the words of Cial official, the low-cost carrier, IndiGo has already confirmed a flight which it would operate from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram to Kannur via Kochi. The talks concluded between the carrier and the officials hint towards the start of this route in February end.
Lack of Connectivity Between Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Kochi and Kannur
Cial MD VJ Kurian said about this development, “Intra-state connectivity has been a focus area for Cial. We are analysing the increasing trend of people taking flights to travel within the state and it takes a lot of discussion with carriers to start new services. There might be new services in summer schedule.”
These new flights will facilitate travel for both leisure and business travellers who frequently have to travel to these cities. Most businessmen and IT professionals working in the region have to travel from Kochi to Trivandrum and Kozhikode, but as a last resort they have only four flights from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram which includes an IndiGo flight in the morning and an Air India flight at night. Also, there is a daily Air India service to Bahrain via Kozhikode at 8:30 AM.
Intra-State Connectivity to Help Flourishing IT Industry
Vice-chairman of SCMS Group of Educational Institutions Pramod P Thevannoor said, “If I go to Thiruvananthapuram from Kochi by road, the round trip will cost me half-a-day in travelling. Even trains take same amount of time. A flight will take 45 minutes and you can use time productively. People now realise that airfares are cheaper and there is an increasing demand for intra-state flights,” said
Company executive of IT companies in the Kochi and Kozhikode region believe that more intra state connectivity between these cities would bolster the growth of IT industry as well. CEO of Infopark, Technopark and Cyberpark Hrishikesh Nair said about this, “One of the biggest beneficiaries will be IT professionals. Many companies at Technopark want to expand their business to Kochi and Kozhikode but the main concern is travelling time and lack of seamless air connectivity. If more flights are in, it will give a major thrust to IT hubs.”
Aster Medcity CEO Harish Pillai also said that as their business is expanding to Kannur, flight connectivity from Kozhikode and Kochi will definitely be an aid. He also added that it is understandable that number of flyers will be thing of concern for the carriers, but they can use smaller aircraft like the Embraer or ATR. He also said that there will be passengers for these flights, if they present a viable option.