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Sharjah operators scoop aviation awards

Sharjah-headquartered regional budget carrier Air Arabia and business aviation services operator, Gama Aviation Sharjah, were honoured at the recent Aviation Business Awards (ABA). Organised by magazine publisher ITP Ltd, the annual Aviation Business Awards celebrate the achievements of the Middle East aerospace industry over the past 12 months.

Air Arabia was named both ‘Low Cost Airline of the Year’ and ‘Airline of the Year (Middle East)’ for 2015 at the annual ABA ceremony, while Gama Aviation’s operation at Sharjah International Airport was named 2015 ‘Fixed Base Operator of the Year’.

Commencing operations in Sharjah in 2003, Air Arabia is the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa and the only listed airline in the United Arab Emirates. It is the recipient of numerous aviation industry awards including this year’s ‘Best Low-cost Airline in the Middle East’ award, which it has received twice in three years at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. The airline was also named ‘Best Low-Cost Carrier’ at World Tourism Forum Awards in Istanbul this year.

Air Arabia has played a key role growing air traffic via Sharjah International Airport. The airline carried over 6.8 million passengers in 2014, 12 per cent more than 2013. The airline now operates from five international hubs, Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah in the UAE, Casablanca in Morocco, Cairo in Egypt and Amman, Jordan. Air Arabia also recently introduced first regional low-cost carrier loyalty programme.

Gama Aviation has been handling all business aviation services at Sharjah International Airport since early 2012, in partnership with Sharjah’s Department of Civil Aviation, and opened its own private aviation terminal in 2014. The full service private aviation hub serves Sharjah, Dubai and the Northern Emirates, offering business jet owners short and long term parking, plus dedicated ramp handling and fuel. Gama Aviation’s future plans for its Sharjah hub include the construction of a new mixed-use hangar for maintenance and additional aircraft storage.

Gama’s Sharjah FBO was recognised by the Aviation Business Awards for providing customers with outstanding service and facilities over the past 12 months. The award was judged according to a variety of criteria including innovation, design, customer satisfaction and investment in operations.

Sharjah International Airport handled 9.5 million passengers last year and, more recently, saw a 10 percent increase in the number of passengers handled during July, August and September this year, compared with the same period in 2014.

Source: ABA, Air Arabia, Gama Aviation

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