Kochi airport plans expansion with rise in profits

Kochi, Nov 13 (IANS) Kerala’s Kochi airport, the fourth largest airport that handles international passengers in India, Saturday announced that its profit touched Rs.77 crore in fiscal 2009-10 and it will invest Rs.118 crore in expansion plans.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who is also the chairman of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), said at the annual general body meeting of the CIAL here that the dividend to the shareholders has also gone up from 10 percent to 12 percent.

‘We are working out major expansion plans. We will begin discussions with all major airlines operating from here to set up a permanent base in Kochi. We are expecting more chartered flights and also setting up a helicopter hub,’ Achuthanandan said.

The profits of CIAL have been steadily growing. The figure was Rs.47.12 crore in 2007-08 and Rs.59 crore in 2008-09. Likewise, the dividends also rose consistently from eight to 10 percent respectively.

The paid up capital of CIAL is Rs.300 crore.

CIAL – the first airport outside the ambit of the Airports Authority of India – was formed as a public limited company with equity participation from the Kerala government, financial institutions and a large number of NRIs, a majority of which are Keralites based in the Middle East.

Among the other major projects that CIAL has in the pipeline are a theatre complex, a shopping mall, state-of-the-art hotel, besides a 60-bedded hospital.

‘A new railway station will be constructed near the airport. We will also request that the proposed Metro Rail is extended till the airport,’ Achuthanandan said.

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