The floods in Kerala have forced the shutters to be pulled down on most forms of transportation, airports, and flights being one of them.
The Cochin international airport which is still submerged in flood waters won’t open on Saturday as expected. A CIAL release on Thursday said that the airport operations have been temporarily suspended upto 2 pm, August 26 due to very high flood situation and with key essential facilities like runway, taxiway, apron. NAV aids are under submerged condition.
The Central government, in a release, however, said that Trivandrum and Calicut airports are available for scheduled operations of the Cochin airport. For international operations, both immigration and customs facilities are available 24×7 at these airports. Trivandrum airport can also accommodate wide-body aircraft.
“In view of the above and to cater for the stranded passengers, scheduled domestic airlines have been advised to reschedule their flights to/from Cochin to Trivandrum and Calicut airports till such time the situation at Cochin airport returns to normal,” the release said.
“Scheduled domestic airlines have also been advised to operate relief flights to Trivandrum/ Calicut for passengers of diverted flights, who have landed at Bangalore, Coimbatore, and Chennai on August 15 morning instead of Cochin,” it said.
All scheduled domestic airlines have been advised to ensure that airfares for flights to/from Trivandrum and Calicut airports in Kerala are kept at an optimal level proportionate to sector distance so that traveling public is not inconvenienced.
Flights of foreign airlines viz. Air Arabia, Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai, Jazeera, Oman Air, Qatar, Saudia Airlines and Srilankan have been rescheduled for Trivandrum airport.
Foreign airlines viz. Air Asia Berhad, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airlines, Malindo, Scoot, Silk Air and Thai Air Asia have suspended their flights to/from Cochin.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government announced a financial assistance of Rs 5 crore for Kerala, where the death toll since August 8 has risen to 75.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik talked to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan over the telephone, following which the financial aid was announced, the CMO said.
Mr. Patnaik also offered any other kind of support required to tackle the calamity, as Odisha has expertise in dealing with disasters, it said.