CIAL operations moving towards pre-pandemic normality

Operations at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) are back to near normality with the restoration of 185 flights per week to the Gulf destinations besides flights being operated for the U.K. and Sri Lanka sectors. Airport sources said the level of departures was 60 per day in the pre-COVID-19 days and normal operations are expected to be restored by December 15.

However, the alert over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has cast a shadow over the restoration of full services to the pre-pandemic levels by December 15. There is high alert at the airport over the COVID variant. Passengers from countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Mauritius, China, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore and Israel will now have to undergo RT-PCR tests and remain in quarantine for seven days.

CIAL sources said domestic flight operations had touched about 80% of the pre-COVID level. Recent days had seen around 38 departures compared to the 40 to 45 departures during the pre-pandemic days. The airport is now handling around 6,000 passengers per day in departures alone and the total passenger traffic is around 12,000 per day compared to 15,000 passengers per day in the pre-pandemic days.

Cargo operations at CIAL too have reached near normality with around 110 tonnes of products being shipped out of the airport on a daily basis.

Singapore flights

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines has announced resumption of flights from Kochi from November 30. There will be three flights out of Kochi on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. On these days, the flights arrive in Kochi at 10.15 p.m. and departs at 11.05 p.m.

CIAL Managing Director S. Suhas was cited in a communication as saying that the chairman of the airport and the members of the board of directors took proactive steps to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs. “We are extremely happy to have Singapore Airlines here after a 20-month hiatus,” he said.

The communication said passengers arriving from Singapore would have to take RT-PCR test at Kochi airport and undergo seven days of home quarantine. On the eighth day of arrival, they will have to take another test and continue quarantine for another week if found positive.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 7:09:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/cial-operations-moving-towards-pre-pandemic-normality/article37753232.ece

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