Sunday, March 28, 2021

A profitable year for city airport

Coimbatore: Just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Coimbatore International Airport, which had been making losses, made a profit for the first time.

The airport recorded a profit of Rs 23.35 crore in 2019-20, which was also the year it witnessed the highest passenger volume in its history. It became the most profitable airport in the state, leaving Chennai, Trichy, Madurai and Salem airports behind.

According to the profits declared by aviation minister Santanu Sen, the Coimbatore airport handled 30 lakh passengers that year. The airport, which recorded a loss of Rs 19.7 crore and Rs 17.53 crore in the previous two years, managed to turn itself around to make a profit of Rs 23.35 crore, higher than Chennai Airport’s profit of Rs 22.65 crore.

This is despite Coimbatore’s passenger traffic being hardly 13% of Chennai’s. The profit was higher than that of traditionally profitable smaller airports like Trichy, which recorded Rs 22.85 crore.

The numbers also seem to correlate with passenger traffic. Coimbatore’s passenger traffic that year was almost twice that of Trichy, which saw only 15.44 lakh passengers, more than twice that of Madurai, which saw only 13.5 lakh passengers and almost 10 times of Salem. “Our main revenues are from passenger service charges and flight landing charges, which were naturally high because we saw sizeable passenger traffic. As many as 40 flights were landing and taking off, giving us good revenue. Also, we did not have much infrastructure expenses that year,” airport director R Mahalingam said. “More vendors opened stalls and generated more rental income.”

28/03/21 Times of India

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