A day after 45 airline services — 25 international and 20 domestic services — were either diverted or cancelled due to flooding, the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) returned to a beehive of activity on Tuesday.
Though it had been declared that suspended services would resume only at 3.20 p.m, passengers thronged the airport much in advance. As the chairs placed outside the domestic and international terminals proved inadequate, airport authorities lined up plastic chairs outside the terminals. Passengers were let inside the international terminal at 12 noon. The domestic terminal was opened an hour later.
Siyad, a native of Kothamangalam, who was to leave for Dubai on Monday, could not go back home after the airport suspended operations. “Roads leading to my home were flooded, forcing me to stay at my friend’s place at Palarivattom. Anyway it proved a blessing as I was able to contact my family and ensure that they were safe,” he said. Angamaly resident Baiju Joseph was to take the Emirates flight to Dubai scheduled for 4 a.m. on Tuesday. His travel plans suffered an 18-hour delay. A nurse in a London hospital, he was anxious if the delay would invite the wrath of the hospital management. “My colleague there is waiting to go on leave once I report as his mother is not well. He was concerned when I informed him about the situation here,” he said.
On the other hand, Suresh, a resident of Alappuzha, was happy that his business trip to Colombo was postponed by a day. “I didn’t go back home after the flight was cancelled. I stayed with my friends in the city and had a blast,” he said.
Air India Express flight, IX 473, bound for Doha was the first to take off on Tuesday after the airport resumed operations. Sri Lankan Airways, Indigo, Gulf Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Emirates, Air Arabia, Air Asia, Tiger Airways, and Kuwait Airways operated 19 services to destinations including Colombo, Dubai, Bahrain, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Sharjah, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Kuwait since then. Indigo and Jet Airways operated seven domestic services to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Delhi.