CIAL launches refuelling facility for flights on nearby routes

An Air Arabia plane bound to Abu Dhabi from Colombo uplifting fuel from Kochi. Photo: Special arrangement

The Cochin International Airport has started facilitating technical landing for refuelling of flights operating in the nearby international air route.

Having established as a major airport in the subcontinent and capable of addressing technical requirements for aircraft up to Code E category, the in-built hydrant fuelling system at the Cochin Airport meets the quick turnaround requirement of international carriers.

The technical landing facility has been arranged for the first time in the history of the airport, the airport management said in a press release.

The last three days saw nine aircraft flying either in the Colombo-Europe or Colombo-Middle East sectors opting for Cochin airport’s technical landing capability and uplifted 4,75,000 litres of ATF from the airport.

With the fuel crisis in Sri Lanka looming large, airlines bound to Colombo from the Middle East or flying out from Colombo to the Middle East/European destinations started using the route proximity advantage of the Cochin airport. With the quick response by Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in terms of efficient apron management by making available fuel hydrant system for such requirement, more aircraft could effectively be accommodated on the apron without affecting scheduled operations in any way. Since June 29, six flights operated by Sri Lankan Airlines bound to Sharjah, London Heathrow and Frankfurt, two flights operated by Air Arabia to Abu Dhabi and one flight operated by Jazeera Airways bound to Kuwait (all flying out from Colombo) used the technical landing facility of CIAL.

CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS said that the management’s prompt response and adaptability to changing situation have helped connect with the foreign carriers and make available its fuel hydrant system to tide over a commercial aviation crisis. “When we have foreseen the change in fuel distribution dynamics in the region, we upped the ante by recalibrating our apron management systems. Now more airlines have started contacting us and we are sure that this will boost our revenue potentials," Suhas said.

There are many airports in the world doing more business in technical landing compared to regular operations. The system established at the Cochin Airport has the potential to serve more airlines, whether for a planned stopover or for any unplanned technical stopovers. The company has started discussions with airlines using this flying route offering to make use of its facility.

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