CIAL temporarily suspends operations due to flooding

Flooding in the Kerala state of India has led to the temporary suspension of operations at Kochi Airport (Cochin International Airport Limited).

Airport operations are temporarily suspended until 26 August 2pm due to water rising in the operational area.

The airport said in a statement: “This is done to minimise the inconvenience to passengers and as a precautionary measure to ensure operational safety.”

A 24/7 control room has been set up by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to assist affected or stranded passengers.

The government’s Ministry of Civil Aviation said passengers are being advised to travel to Trivandrum or Calicut for their journeys and scheduled airlines have been asked to reschedule flights to these airports.

On Friday 17 August the authority issued a statement to confirm the DGCA has asked scheduled domestic airlines to mount additional flights and out of 71 arrivals and 74 departures of scheduled domestic airlines to/from Cochin, 23 arrival and 24 departures have been rescheduled and additional 19 arrival/departures have been mounted to/from Trivandrum, Calicut and Coimbatore airports. Nine foreign carriers operating to Cochin have also rescheduled their flights to/from Trivandrum.

Scheduled domestic airlines have been advised to ensure airfares for flights to these airports are kept at a level proportionate to sector distance. The authority said that accordingly, airlines have been requested to cap the maximum fare around INR 10,000 on longer routes and around 8,000 on shorter routes to/from Kerala and nearby airports.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation also said in a statement that the airfares on 32 direct routes operating to/from Trivandrum, Calicut, Coimbatore and Mangalore are being monitored: “Spike in airfare on a few routes have been observed. Concerned airlines have been advised to cap the airfare on these flights.”

In view of the disruption of flights from Cochin airport, scheduled commercial flights using ATRs by Alliance Air (a subsidiary of Air India) have been approved between Bangalore and Cochin Naval Air base, beginning 20 August said Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry, Civil Aviation, Government of India on Twitter.

As of 19 August in Kerala, the National Disaster Response Force teams rescued 348 persons & 50 livestock, evacuated over 15,000 persons and provided medical assistance to 3197 persons. Operations were still ongoing.

Written by: Kimberley Young

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