Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Dream project drawn up for free landing and parking at Kochi airport, says outgoing chief

The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has drawn up a master plan to transform the Kochi airport into a zero landing and parking fee airport by 2030, said V J Kurian, who stepped down as CIAL MD on Wednesday.

“The plan is to convert the 100-acre land near Nedumbassery railway station into an airport city with outlets of international food chains, electric vehicle charging system and malls. We were almost at its launching stage when the lockdown changed everything. If the new MD takes up the project, Kochi will be the first airport in the world to provide free landing and parking. At present, landing charge constitutes about 25 per cent of our income,” Kurian told reporters.

Kurian said Covid has taught them that airports should not be dependent on passenger revenue alone.

“We should be able to survive even if there is a decline in passenger arrivals. The airport city project is one step in this direction. It will make the airport competitive as other airports would be charging Rs 70,000 for a small aircraft. Our aim is to attract more flights and ensure high turnover offering low cost,” he said.

He said Kochi will be the only airport to have rail, highway, and water connectivity. The inland waterways project will provide connectivity to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kannur airports. CIAL will provide 1 acre of land and the railway station building for the high-speed rail project. Terminal 2 of Kochi airport will provide passengers a facility where they can rest for four hours for just Rs 500, he said

Kurian said Kochi airport decided to waive the user fee to ensure the lowest fare to passengers. The airport did not cut employees' salaries despite the slump in revenue due to lockdown.

“If we receive 60 flights a day, we will achieve break-even and each additional flight will bring profit. In 2019-20, Kochi received 142 flights a day. During the Covid period, our revenue dipped by Rs 80 crore. Still, we made a cash profit of Rs 16 crore though our operations were severely affected,” he said.

09/06/21 New Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment