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CIAL targets Rs 50-cr net next fiscal

Our Bureau

The meeting decided to conduct a detailed study on starting a low-cost airline service by CIAL.

Thiruvananthapuram , March 17

THE Cochin International Airport Company (CIAL) is expecting a profit of Rs 50 crore in 2005-06.

The Director Board of CIAL, which met here under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Mr Ommen Chandy, passed a budget targeting a revenue income of Rs 111.84 crore during the year.

The meeting was informed that the company made a profit of Rs 31.25 crore during the period between April 2004 and January this year. The profit for the corresponding period in the previous year was Rs 17.11 crore.

During the period, the company's income was to the tune of Rs 82.25 crore as against Rs 68.94 crore in the same period last year.

The meeting decided to conduct a detailed study on starting a low-cost airline service by the company. It was felt that there were many factors favouring such a service.

These included the nearly 20 lakh Keralites working in the Gulf countries, the substantial growth in the State's tourism sector and the potential for operating services within the State.

The board decided to hold talks with Air India in the matter of ground handling in the airport.

The company will take a decision on public issue of shares after discussions with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the top brass of Hudco.

The meeting noted that the cargo traffic at the airport increased to 14,854 tonnes from 10,274 tonnes in the previous year.

Because of the heavy cargo traffic, a separate division was started for handling domestic cargo. The income from the duty-free sales in the airport was Rs 14.6 crore.

The Cochin airport company was placed second, behind Auckland, in the matter of rate of profit among similar companies in Asia and Europe. Currently, there are 69 domestic services and 115 international services from the Cochin airport

The company has total loans of Rs 77.52 crore, which include Rs 55.07 crore from Hudco.

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