Sharjah International Airport handled 2.741 million passengers during the first quarter of 2017, registering 2 percent growth compared to the first three months of last year. The airport has experienced continuous growth during the past five years, handling 11 million passengers during 2016.
Sharjah handled 969,633 passengers in January, 827,369 February and 944,038 in March 2017, peaking at 4 percent growth in January (compared to 2016 levels). Aircraft movements at the airport increased by 3 percent to 18,569 scheduled and non-scheduled movements in Q1 2017 compared with 18,054 in Q1 2016.
Several airlines have added new Sharjah flights this year. Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia launched a new services to Baku in March, operating four weekly flights from the Azarbajiani capital. The airline also launched a schedule of seasonal flights between Iran’s Kermanshah aiport and Sharjah on the occasion of ‘Nowruz’, the new Iranian year. Later in the year, Air Arabia plans to operate a new seasonal non-stop service to the historic Turkish port city of Trabzon starting on June 23.
Meanwhile, IndiGo, India’s largest budget-carrier, introduced a daily non-stop service from Kozhikode (CCJ) to Sharjah on 20 March and from Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) to Sharjah during April. Another Indian budget carrier, SpiceJet, plans to launch new flights to Sharjah by the end of 2017.
Sharjah International Airport’s growth has been driven by its strategic location, the success of the emirate’s in-bound tourism industry and the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia. The airport’s ideal location, close to Sharjah city, Dubai city and the main highways connecting the country’s seven emirates, has made it a convenient hub for both business and leisure travelers.
Sharjah Airport Authority appointed US engineering consultancy Parsons Overseas Limited to oversee the US$400 million (AED 1.46b) expansion of Sharjah International Airport. The airport plans to increase capacity to welcome 25 million passengers by the year 2027.
Source: SAA, various