Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 11 December 2019

Sharjah Airport records 15.3% growth in passenger traffic in first half of 2019

6.6 million passengers travelled through the northern emirate's hub

 Passengers waiting for their turn at the check-in area at Sharjah International Airport. Pawan Singh / The National.
 Passengers waiting for their turn at the check-in area at Sharjah International Airport. Pawan Singh / The National.

Sharjah Airport recorded a 15.3 per cent increase in passenger numbers during the first half of 2019 as the hub attracted more airlines, added new destinations and more people traveled over the peak summer season.

The northern emirate's airport, the home-base of low-cost carrier Air Arabia, handled 6.6 million passengers in the first six months of the year, up from 5.7 million during the same period in 2018, Sharjah Airports said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The airport has won the confidence of the many international and regional airlines that have adopted it as the hub for their operations in the region," said Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority.

In April, Turkish Airlines began operating flights between Istanbul and Sharjah with a daily flight. The airport also added Lagos carrier Air Peace, becoming the airline's first international hub outside Africa.

The festive seasons, summer holidays and new destinations also contributed to Sharjah Airport’s record growth over the last six months, the statement said.

In June, the airport recorded 1.114 million passengers, an increase of 17.6 per cent from 947,200 passengers in the same month a year ago, it said.

Air cargo in the first half rose to 78,780 tonnes, the airport said, without providing comparative figures. In June, the airport handled 10,350 tonnes of air freight but did not provide a year-earlier comparison.

Sharjah, best known for its cultural attractions, is positioning itself as a regional and international tourism and trade centre, the airport said.

It is the hub of Air Arabia, which said in April that it needs to put in an order for about 100 aircraft or more in three to four months.

Updated: July 18, 2019 04:15 AM