Airports in Kerala – Helpful Guide for Tourists Visiting Kerala
Airports and airways transport is the best means to travel to Kerala from anywhere in the world. Traveling by Air to airports in Kerala helps to save time and offer comfort and luxury. Landing in one of the airports in Kerala is a perfect way for tourists all over the world to visit Kerala. All major airlines in India like Air India, Spicejet, Vistara, Indigo and international airlines like Singapore Airlines, Air Arabia, Arkia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Maldivian, Malindo Air, Scoot, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Saudia, SilkAir, SriLankan Airlines fly to airports in Kerala.
Kerala Airports helps in domestic transport and provides good support to tourism in Kerala and also serves the high number of expatriates belonging to the state.
How many airports are there in Kerala?
Kerala has four international airports
- Kochi (COK),
- Kannur (CNN),
- Thiruvananthapuram (TRV)
- Kozhikode (Calicut) (CCJ)
and is well connected to all major airports in the world.
Kerala is the only state in India that has four international airports. Kerala Airports are well connected with the rest of the country and the world. All airports in Kerala are well equipped with comfortable lounges, currency exchange, ATMs, and a prepaid taxi counter.
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List of Airports in Kerala
While Thiruvananthapuram International Airport was the earliest, constructed in 1932 and declared international in 1991, Cochin International Airport is the largest, busiest, and best served of the international airports in Kerala. It has become the state’s principal international airport and Kochi is the ideal airport for arrival and departure to visit popular tourist destinations in Kerala.
Tips for Guests planning to use airports in Kerala
- On your arrival try to get a local SIM card which will be easily available for purchase in any of the airports in Kerala. This will help you with data services and the internet as well as making and receiving local calls in India to your driver and hotel.
- On your arrival, if have not booked a tour package to Kerala or do not have confirmed pickup, we suggest you opt for the pre-paid taxis that are available in all airports. This is much more recommended than Uber or Ola Cabs which may be reliable at times
- There is no GST redemption counter in any airport in Kerala that you can claim on your departure
- All airports in Kerala have spacious lounges that will accept Mastercard, VISA & Rupay cards. For your departure, you can avail of the services in one of these lounges
- You can fly directly to Kerala from most cities in the world and there are multiple flights to Dubai and Singapore as well.
ALSO SEE – Best time to visit KeralaThere are four operational international airports in Kerala which does domestic services as well. Cochin International Airport is the main and most popular airport in Kerala for tourists who are domestic arrivals. The airports in Kerala depicts cultural traditions and heritage of the state and showcases caparisoned elephants and kathakali forms, mural paintings depicting the heritage of dance forms in Kerala like Theyyam, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathakali, etc
1. Cochin International Airport (COK)
Cochin International Airport is the best airport to fly into Kerala. It is the first airport in India to be developed under a private-public partnership. It was funded by just under 10,000 non-resident Indians from over 30 countries. It’s Kerala’s most extensive and busiest airport, with three passenger terminals. It is the largest Kerala airport. It’s also the world’s first fully solar-powered airport and has a car park that is fully covered with solar panels. Cochin International Airport in fact has surplus electricity which is given back to the national grid in India!
COK services all major domestic metropolises, such as Thiruvananthapuram, and Kozhikode, as well as other significant destinations like Pune, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Vishakhapatnam.
It’s well connected to major international destinations like Jeddah, Dammam, Abu Dhabi Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Colombo, Doha, Muscat, and Riyadh, amongst others.
Cochin airport is closest to tourist destinations in Kerala like Munnar, Alleppey, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Marari, and Fort Kochi.
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|Destination||Distance from Kochi Airport||Travel Time||Prepaid Taxi Cab Rate from Airport|
|Munnar||105 KM||3.5 Hours||2500|
|Alleppey||83 KM||2.2 Hours||2000|
|Kumarakom||73 KM||2.1 Hours||2000|
|Thekkady||162 KM||2.5 Hours||2800|
|Marari||72 KM||2 Hours||1800|
|Fort Kochi||37 KM||1.2 Hours||1000|
2. Thiruvananthapuram International Aiport (TRV)
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the first airport in Kerala and was started in 1932. Thiruvananthapuram Airport is the first Kerala airport and the fifth international airport in India.
Declared as an international airport in 1991, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport services the city of Thiruvananthapuram and its surroundings. It’s Kerala’s second busiest airport, with one international and one domestic terminal and an essential role in military and Coast Guard operations of India.
In the 1920s, Kollam airport was the only civil aerodrome in the broader area, but with the appearance of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, this historic airfield sadly fell into disuse and is now closed.
Major domestic destinations connected to TRV are Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Goa, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Bangalore, making it an ideal base from which to explore both Kerala and the rest of India.
ALSO SEE – Best Beaches near TrivandrumInternationally, TRV services mostly the Middle East, with regular connections to Sharjah, Muscat, Bahrain, Oman, Riyadh, and Dubai, as well as countries such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Male, and Colombo.
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the closest to tourist destinations in Kerala like Kovalam, Poovar, Varkala, and Kanyakumari.
|Destination||Distance from Airport||Travel Time||Taxi Cab Rate|
|Kovalam||14 KM||30 minutes||600|
|Poovar||30 KM||1 Hour||800|
|Varkala||43 KM||1.5 Hours||2100|
|Kanyakumari||102 KM||3 Hours||2500|
|Kollam||68 KM||2 Hours||2300|
|Alleppey||150 KM||4 Hours||4200|
3. Kannur International Airport (CNN)
Opened in 2018, Kannur is the biggest airport in Southern India and famous among the Kerala airports. It services the northern districts in Kerala with an integrated domestic and international terminal. This is the second airport in Kerala under the private-public partnership.
CNN has connections to all major domestic metropolises, including Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, and Kozhikode.
ALSO SEE – 25 Best Beaches In Kerala To Visit In 2021 (With Photos)It also services major international destinations like Abu Dhabi Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, Dammam, Muscat, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Colombo, and Riyadh, amongst others.
Kannur International Airport (CNN) is closest to tourist destinations in Kerala like Wayanad, Kannur, and Bekal.
|Destination||Distance from Kannur Airport||Travel Time||Taxi Cab Rate|
|Kannur||27 KM||55 Minutes||500|
|Bekal||54 KM||2 .8 Hours||2100|
|Wayanad||104 KM||3.2 Hours||3500|
|Mysore||158 KM||4 Hours||4200|
4. Kozhikode International Airport (CCJ)
Operational since 1988, Kozhikode International Airport serves the cities of Kozhikode and Malappuram and is the third busiest airport in Kerala.
With one domestic and one international terminal, it services all significant metropolises in India and significant international destinations like Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Salalah, Muscat, Ras al-Khaimah, and Kuwait, amongst others.
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Kozhikode International Airport (CNN) is closest to tourist destinations in Kerala like Kozhikode, Palakkad, and Malappuram.
|Destination||Distance from Kozhikode Airport||Travel Time||Taxi Cab Rate|
|Kozhikode||29 KM||1 Hour||800 INR|
|Palakkad||100 KM||3 Hours||2100 INR|
|Nelliyampathi||149 KM||4.8 Hours||4200 INR|
|Wayanad||99 KM||3.5 Hours||3500 INR|
How can I get a SIM card on arrival in any of the airports in Kerala?
You need to get a local SIM to get a local number as it will reduce your data costs and will make it easy to contact local drivers and hotels. In case you want to opt for a SIM on arrival, you have to produce your passport & VISA. SIM cards can be availed on the spot. The SIM obtained from the airport is activated within 3-4 hours and you may need to restart the phone once.
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