Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has retained its position as the third busiest airport in India throughout 2021 thanks to concerted efforts to smoothen traffic during the pandemic and increased connectivity.
According to the latest numbers released by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), CIAL stands third in the country in terms of international traffic. The figures showed that the airport stood third in terms of international passenger traffic in December too, which cemented its third position for the entire 2021.
A communication from CIAL on Sunday said according to AAI data on international traffic for the month of December 2021, the Delhi Airport topped the list with 8,42,582 passengers and Mumbai handled 4,51,212 passengers. CIAL saw 3,01,338 international passengers during December 2021, whereas the Chennai Airport, which is at the fourth position, handled 2,46,387 international passengers.
CIAL handled a total of 43,06,661 passengers during the entire 2021. Of them, 18,69,690 were international passengers. CIAL’s passenger volume increased almost by a million in 2021 when compared to 2020, the communication added.
CIAL managing director S. Suhas attributed the traffic growth to proactive measures taken by the airport management to attract more airlines. The chairman and board of directors have focused on re-establishing air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs during the pandemic. Despite the spike in COVID cases, CIAL managed to facilitate smooth traffic, he said. “The year 2021 also witnessed the resumption of direct services to the United Kingdom by Air India. Singapore Airlines started operations in December 2021, and we hope that we can host services in the Kochi-Bangkok sector soon,” Mr. Suhas said.
Airports in the country as a whole handled 25.12 million passengers in December 2021, compared to 23.23 million passengers in November. There were 19.64 million passengers in October, compared to 15.44 million in September and 14.26 million in August 2021. However, the growth in air passenger traffic has been slow since December-end because of the third wave of the pandemic. The country recorded 22.13 million domestic passengers in December, up from 20.72 million in November.