To cater to the large number of passengers moving through here, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is proposing to establish a world class food court, professionally run by experts in the field.

The company has already earmarked an area outside its international departure hall and has invited proposals from major food & beverage outlet brands in this regard. “An air-conditioned area of around 510 sq. m will be provided with access to the city side,” said an official.

The facility, which will cater to passengers as well as visitors, is proposed to have three main outlets providing a variety of cuisine including Indian and Chinese.

CIAL has already announced plans to construct a covered alighting area in front of its international terminal that will help ease the crowd outside the building, especially during peak hours.

On completion, CIAL also calculates to converting the area into commercial space by establishing consumer retail shops and food courts under the canopy.

In addition to the food court, CIAL also proposes to expand the business of retailing and is presently in the process of identifying and selecting retailers for supplying the goods in the international departure hall and in its general concourse area. The initiative is part of its efforts to encourage fuller exploitation of the airport's retail potential.

Airport retailing has been a major source of revenue for CIAL with the total sales maintaining an average annual growth rate of 20 per cent since its inception.

To add competitive value to the activity, it also proposes to install a novel retail - management software that will improve management of operations. Income from airport retailing accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the company turnover and in the last year alone, income from the avenue touched Rs. 73 crore. Given the10 per cent annual average growth in international passenger movement, the income from this segment is set to touch Rs.100 crore within the next couple of years, say officials.

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