CIAL records robust traffic growth in 2021, passenger volume increased by a million

Photo: CIAL

Amid the ongoing anxieties caused by the pandemic, the Cochin International Airport has recorded a robust growth in both air traffic movements and passenger volume in 2021 compared to the previous year. As per the data released by the airport, CIAL handled 43,06,661 passengers in 2021 against 33,37,830 of 2020; an increase of almost a million. The aircraft movement also witnessed a growth from 30,737 in 2020 to 41,437 in 2021.

With the sustained growth rate, CIAL retained its position as the third airport in the country in terms of international traffic throughout the year. It handled 18,69,690 international passengers in 2021 against 14,82,004 during 2020. The domestic passenger volume increased from 18,55,826 to 24,36,971.


CIAL managing director S Suhas IAS attributed the traffic growth to the proactive measures taken by the management to attract more airlines. “Honourable Chairman Pinarayi Vijayan and board of directors have been consistently putting their effort to re-establish air connectivity to Kochi from all international travel hubs. By December 2021, CIAL was able to facilitate 185 weekly departures to the Middle East alone in addition to the services to Europe, Sri Lanka and far east,” Suhas said.

The year 2021 also saw the resumption of direct flight to The UK and Singapore. Air Arabia started daily operations to Abu Dhabi for the first time in India in addition to its Sharjah services. Domestic sector witnessed a growth at par with pre-pandemic period. As per the winter schedule which came effective from October, 2021 scheduled 50 departures a day.

CIAL’s timely response to the UAE’s supreme council of disaster management’s guidelines helped the airport to host the UAE services from July itself. Subsequently CIAL ramped up both rapid PCR and RTPCR testing and now the cumulative capacity of the three testing labs stationed at the airport enhanced to 900 at a time.

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