The winter schedule of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been drawn up to facilitate runway resurfacing work, even as private airlines have announced new services. The new schedule would be effective from October 27, 2019, to March 28, 2020, a CIAL press release said here on October 25. The re-surfacing work is to be held from November 20, 2019, to March 28, 2020, the release said. At the same time, there would be new services launched to Dammam in Saudi Arabia and Island of Hanimadhoo in the Maldives, it said. The runway would be closed for operation from 10 am to 6 pm, the release said. Majority of the flights was re-scheduled to slots between 6 PM and 10 PM, it said. The arrangement would see the termination of only two
services in the international sector and four in the domestic sector, the release said.
The CIAL handles more than a million passengers annually and hectic preparations, including the extension of operational time of check-in counters, were being done to ensure hassle-free passenger movement during the time of re-surfacing work. FLY NAS, a budget airline from Saudi Arabia, would operate three services a week to Dammam giving an extra fillip to CIAL's connectivity to Saudi Arabia with airlines like Saudi, Air India, Air India Express already operational to various airports in the Gulf country. Indigo has also announced new Dammam service in the winter schedule apart from their Jeddah service.
Island Aviation Services, an airline owned by the government of the island nation of Maldives would operate new thrice-a-week service to Hanimadhoo. The CIAL was already connected with the island nation with a daily service operated by Indigo. The domestic sector is catered to with new services to Delhi by Go Air, Delhi and Chennai by Air Asia India, Kolkata, Chennai and Tirupati by Spicejet. Metros like Delhi and Bangalore would have 12 direct daily services and cities of Chennai and Mumbai would have eight services.
The CIAL boasts of direct connectivity to Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Goa, Hubli, Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram. The international sector was being served with direct connectivity to Middle-East cities, Singapore, Colombo, Bangkok, Tel Aviv and Kuala Lumpur.