Kochi: The Cochin International Airport (CIAL) has displayed a robust growth in both air traffic movements and passenger volume in year 2021 compared to 2020, the company said on Wednesday.
As per the data released from the airport, CIAL handled 43,06,661 passengers during the year 2021 against 33,37,830 during 2020; an increase of almost a million. The aircraft movement also witnessed a growth from 30,737 in 2020 to 41,437 in 2021, it said in a statement.
"With the sustained growth rate, CIAL retained its position as the third airport in the country in terms of international traffic throughout the year 2021. It handled 18,69,690 international passengers in 2021 against 14,82,004 during 2020. The domestic passenger volume increased from 18,55,826 to 24,36,971", it said.
CIAL managing director S Suhas IAS attributed the traffic growth to the proactive measures taken by the management to attract more airlines.
He said CIAL director board chairman Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and board of directors have been consistently put their effort to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs.
"By December 2021 CIAL was able to facilitate 185 weekly departures to the Middle East alone in addition to the services to Europe , Srilanka and far east", Suhas said.
CIAL made the achievement despite the anxieties cast by the COVID-19 pandemic has been looming over the third consecutive year.
Year 2021 also saw the resumption of direct flight to the United kingdom and Singapore.
Air Arabia started daily operations to Abu Dhabi for the first time in India in addition to its Sharjah services.
Domestic sector witnessed a growth at par with pre pandemic period.
As per the winter schedule which came effective from October 2021 scheduled 50 departures a day.
CIAL's timely response to the UAE's supreme council of disaster management's guidelines helped the airport to host the UAE services from July itself. Subsequently CIAL ramped up both rapid PCR and RTPCR testing and now the cumulative capacity of the three testing labs stationed at the airport enhanced to 900 at a time, the statement added. PTI