Kochi: The total passenger traffic from Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) has increased by 20% in 2015-16. While international traffic rose by 24%, domestic traffic went up by 17% during this period.
In the last financial year, Cial handled a total of 77,70,785 passengers. While international passenger movement increased from 37,45,043 in 2014-15 to 46,41,127 in 2015-16, domestic passenger movement increased from 26,82,929 in 2014-15 to 31,29,658 last year. Aircraft movement also increased from 52,784 in 2014-15 to 57,762 in 2015-16. The Middle East accounted for most of the aircraft and international passenger movement. Cial managing director V J Kurian attributed the surge in traffic to the economic model followed by the airport.
"We function in a cost-effective way. This is one of the airports in the country that charges the lowest fees for services offered. Our parking and landing fees are so cheap which will tempt more airlines to operate from here. We have also ensured that passengers receive services of international standards at the lowest prices," Kurian said."The notable feature of the past fiscal is the significant increase in domestic passengers. There has been a good increase in tourists from north India as well as passengers from the Far East. With the new international terminal having started operations, we expect a further surge in flight services as well as the number of passengers," he added.
CIAL has scaled to these heights from five lakh passengers in the inception year of the airport in 1999. The number of passengers has gone up 15 times in over 15 years. CIAL could give a dividend to shareholders since the 2003-04 financial year. With the dividend distributed in 2014-15, the total dividend has come to 153 percent. The turnover of the company was `413.96 crore while profit was Rs 144.57 crore in 2014-15 financial year. A total of 24 airlines currently operate from the airport and in the summer schedule this year, a total of two services will be added in the domestic sector and one in the international sector. Thai AirAsia is the new international carrier operating service while in the domestic sector, Vistara and Air Pegasus will operate new services.