CIAL warns Air India after deplaning mix-up at Kochi airport

Kochi: After an incident on 15 January when passengers deplaning from a Jet Airways flight from Kuwait were taken to the domestic terminal instead of the international terminal for customs and immigration clearance, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has warned Air India, which provides the ground handling services at the Nedumbassery airport near here, that its contract could be terminated if services were not improved.

"If things do not improve, we would be forced to take strong measures, including termination of contract," CIAL managing director, Sreeram Bharat, said.
In response, Air India has given an assurance to CIAL that it would take all steps to improve services, and also that it would never compromise on issues like safety and security as laid down in the procedures of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

According to Air India officials, shortage of manpower and equipment had prevented them from upgrading their systems in line with the increased air traffic at the airport. The company has now assured CIAL that immediate action would be taken for positioning the required manpower and equipment at the airport.

Additional passenger coaches and ramp equipment would be positioned to facilitate quick and quality ground handling services at the aprons and bays at the terminals, Air India said.

Following the incident, both CIAL and Air India have ordered separate enquiries.