Turkish airline AtlasGlobal has begun three-times weekly service between Istanbul Atatürk International Airport and Sharjah International Airport on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: the airline’s only route to the UAE. Majority owned by Turkish travel and tourism operator ETS Group, AtlasGlobal (formerly Atlasjet Airlines) now operates 37 domestic and international flights to Europe and the Near East including flights to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
AtlasGlobal’s A320 fleet operates the 3,013 kilometre sector between Istanbul and Sharjah, from its home base at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport and plans to make the new service a daily one. The airline is now the only carrier flying the route, although Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia offers a daily service from Sharjah International Airport to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
Sharjah International Airport handled 10 million last year and is already a hub for a number of international passenger and cargo airlines including Air Arabia, Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways (India), Qatar Airways, SpiceJet (India) and Sri Lankan Airlines. Air Arabia, the region’s largest low-cost carrier, serves 100 destinations in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and Europe.
Sharjah opened a new super-jumbo capable AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway in 2014, significantly expanding the airport’s capacity, in line with its goal of handling 25 million passengers by the year 2025. The airport also recently announced a new automated baggage management system, based on SITA’s baggage management and communication technology.
Sharjah International Airport will soon begin to levy a AED 35 (US$ 9.5) exit fee towards the infrastructure and expansion of the airport.