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Kerala’s Cochin International Airport (CIAL) is the third busiest airport in terms of international traffic. The airport has been able to retain its place for the third consecutive month from July 2021.

According to the airport authorities, it handled about 85,395 international passengers in July, which surged to 1.57 lakh in August and about 1.95 lakh in September 2021.

The total number of domestic and international passenger footfall for the month of September stood at 3.7 lakh, CIAL added.

Cochin International Airport is the first greenfield airport in the country built with a public-private partnership, which is planned and constructed with novel infrastructure ideas to deliver the development.

“Cochin International airport Ltd (CIAL) establishes itself as the third airport in the country in terms of international traffic for three consecutive months from July 2021,” it said in a release.

The airport handles an average of 106 aircraft movements every day, which includes both international and domestic operations. The daily average passenger footfall stands around 14,500.

It is also the first airport in the world, which is totally powered by Solar Energy. Overall, it is among the largest airports in the country in terms of air traffic volumes.

According to the Cochin Airport Authority, the airport facilitates flights to all the Middle East destinations, London, Male, and Colombo on the international route.

The authority expects a decent growth in the international traffic for the month of October as more foreign carriers and airlines are scheduled for frequent services from the city.

Sri Lankan Airlines is the latest addition to operate a daily operation to Colombo from this week. With this addition, CIAL will be handling 58 international arrival and departure operations every day for the month of October thus far.

S Suhas, Managing Director, Cochin International Airport said that the airport witnessed significant growth in traffic during September and scheduled more international flights for October.

Suhas is optimistic about the global recovery among all the sectors and global aviation is also responding to it. CIAL expects to reach international connectivity to 70% of the pre-pandemic level by next month.

On the other hand, domestic air movement is near normalcy, he added, and will reach the normal level in the winter months.

It kicked off its commercial airlines in June 1999 and its first international flight landed in Dammam, a city in Saudi Arabia. The company has five subsidiaries.

Sri Lankan Airlines, which resumed its daily service to Colombo from October 3, via their flight UL 165 arrives at COK at 0945 and departs as UL 166 to Colombo at 1045 on all days except Sunday.

On Sunday, the arrival and departure of the flight UL 165 and UL 166, respectively, are scheduled at 0845 and 0945, respectively.

Key domestic players like Bharat Petroleum, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco), Air India, State Bank of India, (SBI), and Federal Bank hold a significant stake in the CIAL.

However, the financial performance of the CIAL was highly affected in the financial year 2020-21 after the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, which led to nationwide lockdown and restrictions, curbing the movement on a domestic and international basis.

On a consolidated basis, the company reported a net loss of Rs 92 crore in the financial year ended on March 31, 2021. The company has reported a net profit of Rs 237 crore in the year-ago fiscal.

The company registered a total income of Rs 296 crore in FY2021, a fall of over 63 percent compared to the revenue of Rs 810 crore the previous fiscal.

Its EPS slipped into the negative territory, while it had an EPS of 6.19 in the FY 2019-20. The company is maintaining its debt-to-equity ratio of less than 0.5 for the last five years.

On a standalone basis, the company reported a net loss of Rs 87 in FY 2021 crore against a net profit of Rs 215 crore in the previous year. It was the first time a company reported a loss in a fiscal year, thanks to the pandemic.

The company clocked a revenue of Rs 252 crore in the financial year ended on March 31, 2021, which was more than 61 percent down from the total income of Rs 650 crore earned by the company in the period a year ago.

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