Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) Unlisted Stocks

Cochin International Airport Limited is the first airport in India to be built under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). It is the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy. The company has won UN’s Champion of Earth award in the year 2018 for being the first Airport in the world that fully operates on solar energy.

CIAL has also won the Business today BEST-SME award in the year 2016.

Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) was ranked the Third Best Airport (Category 5-50 million passengers) based on the 2017 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey conducted by Airports Council International. Its passenger movement has risen by ~14% in FY 2017-18 from FY 2016-17 whereas the aircraft movement has risen by ~11% during the same tenure.

The Government of Kerala has a shareholding of 32% in CIAL. Some of its other shareholders are Kochi International Security Limited, Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India Chamber of Commerce and Industry, BPCL, Air India, State Bank of India, etc.

About the Company

  • Cochin International Airport is the first greenfield airport in the country built with public-private partnerships. Planned and constructed from scratch, the airport has been acclaimed for setting a novel idea in infrastructure development.
  • The astonishing public participation, relentless support from NRIs and effective leadership have made CIAL, the company that built and operates the airport, an international brand.
  • It is also the first airport in the world fully powered by solar energy.
  • Ever since commercial operations started on 10th June 1999 with an International flight to Dammam. CIAL has grown rapidly becoming the 4th largest International Airport in India in terms of international passenger traffic in just four years.
  • Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is an international airport serving the city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India.
  • CIAL was incorporated on 30th March 1994 (the original airstrip in Cochin was built in the year 1936).
  • Located at Nedumbassery, about 25 kilometres northeast of the city, Cochin International Airport is the first of its kind which is developed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in India. This project was funded by nearly 10,000 non-resident Indians from 30 countries.

History & Evolution

  • Kochi's airport began as an airstrip on Willingdon Island, built-in 1936 by the Kingdom of Kochi, intended for transporting officials involved in the development of the Cochin Port.
  • The Kingdom of Kochi allowed the Britisher’s, who were still occupying India, to convert the airstrip into a military airport by the Indian Navy during World War II. The Royal Navy chose it as a strategic site for their headquarters in Southern India and as an air station cum landing craft and seaplane base.
  • After India achieved dominion status, and the merger of the Kingdom of Kochi with India, the Indian Navy operated the airport, though it permitted civilian aircraft to use the facility.
  • The Gulf economic boom of the 1980s made it necessary to develop international connections to Kochi in the interests of expatriates working in the Middle East.
  • Since the Government was not in a position to take the entire financial burden of the Airport project, the novel idea of developing an Airport with the joint financial participation of Airport users (mainly non-resident Indians), Airport Service Providers and the Government.
  • This concept paved the way for the development of not only Cochin International Airport but many other Airports in India including Bangalore and Hyderabad in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Model and later became a subject for Case Study at Harvard University, IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Kozhikkode.

Awards & Achievements

  • In 2015, Cochin International Airport became the world's first fully solar-powered airport with the inauguration of a dedicated solar plant.
  • For this entrepreneurial vision, the airport won the coveted Champion of the Earth award in 2018, the highest environmental honour instituted by the United Nations.
  • State Pollution Control Board Excellence Award in 2018.
  • The airport is awarded as the best airport in Asia-Pacific in 2020 (5 to 15 million passengers per annum) by Airports Council International.

Industry Opportunity

  • India is expected to become the world’s third-largest aviation market by 2024.
  • To cater to the rapidly growing demand, airline operators have been expanding their capacity.
  • India’s passenger traffic stood at 341.05 million in FY20. It grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.13% during FY16–FY20. Domestic passenger traffic stood at 274.50 million in FY20, growing at a CAGR of 12.91% over FY16. International passenger traffic stood at 66.54 million, growing at a CAGR of 5.01% during FY16–FY20.
  • The expenditure of Indian travellers is expected to grow to INR 9.5 lakh crore (US$ 136 billion) by 2021.
  • The Government of India launched a regional connectivity scheme named UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) to make flying affordable for the common man.
  • AAI (Airports Authority of India) plans to invest INR 25,000 crore (US$ 3.58 billion) in next the five years (FY18-23) to augment facilities and infrastructure at airports. It has opened the airport sector to private participation as six airports across major cities are being developed under the PPP (public-private partnership) model.
  • Investment to the tune of INR 42,000–45,000 crore (US$ 6–6.5 billion) is expected in India’s airport infrastructure between FY18–23.
  • According to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflow in India’s air transport sector (including air freight) reached US$ 2.75 billion between April 2000 and March 2020.

Financial Highlights


  • The total revenue for the year ended 31.03.2020 was INR 655.05 crores as compared to the previous year of INR 650.34 crores.

Operating Profit

  • During the FY 2019-20, the Company earned an operating profit of INR 423.85 crores as against INR 398.63 crores in the previous year 2018-19, registered a growth rate of 6.33%.

Profit After Tax

  • The Company clocked Profit After Tax for the FY 19-20 of INR 215.12 crores as against INR 170.65 crores in FY 18-19, registering a growth of 26.06%.

Earnings Per Share

  • The Earnings Per Share of the Company also rose to 5.62 in the FY19-20 as compared to 4.46 in the previous year.


  • The Company showcases a sustainable business model which always adheres to people, community and culture.
  • The balance sheet also is sound as the profit ratio exceeds 35%. The paid-up capital of the company is Rs.382.57 Cr with over 19,000 shareholders from 31 countries.
  • Over the years, the Company accrued gross assets worth of INR 2,455.64 Cr. which include three sprawling terminals having two million sq. ft. of the area and offering state of the art passenger facilities, a convention center, a golf course and an aircraft maintenance hangar.
  • The Company has been paying dividend from 2003-04 and with the year 2019-20, the total dividend pay-out has touched 282%.
  • There are 24 airline companies operate from the airport today, which facilitates direct connectivities to GCC, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
  • Kochi in Kerala is witnessing unprecedented growth. Kochi has become the business hub of Kerala and is witnessing a number of mega projects like LNG terminal, International Cargo Container Terminal, etc.
  • Studies in the tourism sector showed an annual growth of 7% in foreign tourists and 9% in domestic tourists.