Kochi airport resumes operations after 16-day closure
29 August 2018
More than two weeks after the Kochi airport was closed due to incessant flooding, the first flight, Indigo flight 667 from Ahmadabad to Kochi, landed at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), as the Cochin Airport resumed operations today after 16 days of being non-functional.
Several commercial carriers, including Jet Airways and Indigo are expected to restart operations from CIAL today for the first time since 14 August.
Jet Airways flight to Kochi from Mumbai ((9W 0403) was expected to land at Kochi airport at 15:50 hours, as per an airline release on Monday.
The statement also said the airline will continue relief efforts in the state, adding that they have airlifted over 17 tonnes of relief material without charge. The airline has also extended its waiver for passengers holding confirmed tickets and travelling into and out of the airport till tomorrow and guest can change dates up to 15 September from the original travel date, it added.
In a tweet, Indigo also informed that it will resume services from 1400 hours on 29 August from the Cochin Airport. CIAL is reported to have suffered a loss of at least Rs220 crore due to the closure of operations.
In a statement put out on Facebook on Monday, CIAL had said it, “is all set to commence full scale operations (both International and Domestic) at 1400 hrs on 29-08-18.”
The statement had also informed that the airlines will follow the current schedule for operations and that all the services from the Kochi Naval base, from where rescue operations were being carried out will be cancelled from Wednesday noon onwards.
The airport was shut on 14 August due to flooding as devastation spread across Kerala. It is the seventh busiest airport in the country. From 8 August to 22 August, most of Kerala remained under water before the water for around a fortnight.
It also forced the government to open its Naval facility in Kochi for commercial operations as the shutdown made the city remained cut off. Earlier, the airport authorities had announced that the airport will remain shut till 18 August.
However, later, it was extended to 26 and further to 29 as water didn't recede and the runway continued to be flooded. The terminals, as well as the large solar farm around the airport, were also water-logged.
The DGCA, meanwhile, directed the Kochi-bound flights to be diverted and landed on the two other airports in the state in Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode or Coimbatore in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Mangalore in Karnataka.