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Irony! Kerala’s Left Front Govt In Talks With Tatas, Adanis To Bail Out Kannur International Airport

It is rare that the fortunes of an airport are tied to an airline. One of the big casualties of Go First’s insolvency is Kerala’s second public-private airport, Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). Set up at a cost of Rs 2500 crore in 2018, the airport which has attracted over 20 million passengers is today defaulting on salaries and all infrastructure payments. In fact, things have turned worse in the last two months, with the airport defaulting on interest payments on borrowings which have now risen to Rs 1200 crore. Go First used to operate 240 flights per month from KIAL to domestic and international destinations. These operations earned it a revenue of Rs 5 crore every month. Also, KIAL was used by Go First as a major parking bay for its fleet of aircraft. The airlines which operate from KIAL today are Air India Express and Indigo, which do only four or five flights per day. The Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan is worried that the airport could turn out to be another white elephant. It is believed that his government has approached the Tatas and Adanis to bail out KIAL.  This is ironic, as the same Pinarayi government had vehemently opposed the privatisation of Trivandrum International to Adani. Critics say that Vijayan will go to any extent to save KIAL, as it is in the backyard of all the top Kerala CPM leaders.