TravelBiz Monitor

Inbound / Domestic News

Friday, 17 August, 2018, 11 : 30 AM [IST]
Flooded Cochin Airport to remain close till August 26

As per the Indian Express report, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has suspended its operations till August 26 owing to heavy rains in the region. This has led to all the flights at the airport being cancelled and has prompted airlines to make special arrangements for the passengers, including alternative flights to nearby airports.

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said that CIAL will not operate till August 26 due to rains and consequently, the Air Navigation Services wing of Airports Authority of India has issued NOTAM (notice to airmen). MoCA and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have also announced measures to address the issues that have arisen due to suspension of flight operations to and from Cochin airport. 

DGCA has advised the airlines to cap the fare on Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram sector to INR 10,000 and has also asked the airlines to keep the fares on other flights going to Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode in check. Eight domestic airlines - Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia India, Vistara, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet fly to Cochin. Also, 12 foreign carriers - Oman Air, Saudia, FlyDubai, Jazeera Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Malindo, AirAsia, Thai AirAsia, Scoot and Sri Lankan Airlines fly to the airport.

“All scheduled domestic airlines have been advised to ensure that airfares for flights to/from Thiruvananthapuram and Calicut airports in Kerala are kept at optimal level proportionate to sector distance so that travelling public is not inconvenienced. Flights of foreign airlines viz. Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, FlyDubai, Jazeera, Oman Air, Qatar, Saudia Airlines and SriLankan have been rescheduled for Thiruvananthapuram airport. Foreign airlines viz. Air Asia Berhad, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airlines, Malindo, Scoot, Silk Air and Thai AirAsia have suspended their flights to/from Cochin,” the Ministry said in an official statement.

Among domestic carriers, Vistara – which only operated to Kochi airport in Kerala – has started special flights to Thiruvananthapuram. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are operating special flights to TRV (Trivandrum) in view of COK (Kochi) airport closure for the next three days. Flights will operate from DEL (Delhi) and MAA (Chennai). We do not normally operate to TRV, and have made special arrangements.” 

Domestic airlines have also offered a waiver on rescheduling and cancellation charges for passengers booked to fly to or from Kochi airport. Further, the DGCA has set up a control room at its headquarters in the capital since Wednesday to deal with the issues arising out of rescheduling and cancellation of flights. “The control room has spoken to Cochin airport for latest update on Cochin weather. It has been informed that water level inside the airport continue to rise and heavy rain is predicted till Saturday,” an official source said early Thursday.