Friday, February 15, 2019

For 1st time, more domestic fliers than international at Cochin Airport

New Delhi: For the first time since its inception, the Cochin International Airport expects to see domestic passengers outnumber international ones this year. ACK Nair, Airport Director, Cochin International Airport Ltd, explains the trend reversal. Excerpts:

Do you expect domestic passengers to out number international ones this year?

Yes, we had more international passengers till last year. This year onwards, the domestic traffic seems to be outgrowing international traffic. Last year, it was nearly 50-50. Now there are services to many domestic destinations which were not connected with Cochin earlier. This year, Nagpur and Lucknow have been connected. Vijaywada, Kolkata, Guwahati and Bhubaneshwar have direct flights. Tirupati is going to be connected. Jaipur and Ahmedabad have added more connections.

All this has helped increase traffic in the domestic sector. The trend that we have noticed is that the average Indian loves travellingPeople from Kerala are travelling to the north and those from the north are travelling to Kerala.

Which airline is leading the domestic influx?

IndiGo the most. Now it has 45 departures a day which is likely to increase to 60 by the summer schedule. Jet has reduced operations; it has stopped all international operations and only operates two or three departures. SpiceJet is also adding flights, but not like IndiGo. Air India is steady.

You also mentioned having more connections from Europe. What exactly do you have in mind?

We have not targeted anybody (airports) but we want to have discussions with European destinations like Birmingham (because we do not want to go to Heathrow), maybe Istanbul also. We will support an airline which operates from Kochi to these destinations.
15/02/19 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line
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