IndiGo, India’s largest budget-carrier, will introduce non-stop flights to Sharjah from Lucknow (LKO) and Hyderabad (HYD) starting 29 December 2017, due to the growing demand for Sharjah connections. The airline launched its inaugural flight to Sharjah International Airport in March, connecting Sharjah with Kozhikode (Calicut), followed by the addition of a direct flight from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in April.
IndiGo will be the first airline to launch direct Lucknow-Sharjah flights. The low-cost airline plans to use the new Sharjah routes to provide connections to Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, Raipur, Rajahmundry, Mangalore, Patna, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.
Headquartered in Gurgaon (Gurugram), India, IndiGo is India’s largest passenger airline with a market share of 39.5 percent (October 2017) and is ranked among the top ten best low-cost airlines in the world by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. The airline currently connects 46 destinations, including 7 international destinations.
India has emerged as the fourth largest market for international visitors to Sharjah and the emirate has driven ongoing marketing campaigns targeting India’s outbound tourism over the past few years. Sharjah-headquartered budget airline Air Arabia, which launched operations in 2003, began developing the Indian market early on, adding 13 destinations throughout India by 2009. Indian airlines Air India Express and Jet Airways also operate Sharjah flights.
Sharjah International Airport handled 11 million passengers in 2016, growing 10 percent over the previous year. In February, the government approved a US$400 million (AED 1.46b) budget for the expansion of Sharjah International Airport, to increase airport capacity from 8 to 18 million passengers a year.
Source: Indigo, various