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Sharjah airport sees 16% passenger growth

Sharjah International Airport passenger traffic registered a 16 percent increase in the third quarter of this year compared with the third quarter of 2013. Sharjah handled 2.4 million passengers during the same period, compared with 2 million passengers in Q3 2013, while, overall, 7.3 million passengers passed through the airport since the beginning of the year. 17,830 flights landed or took off from the airport from July to September: a 9 percent increase in aircraft movements compared with 2013 statistics.

Passenger traffic at Sharjah International Airport has increased by 13 percent year-on-year for the past two years and passenger traffic has, so far, increased by 14 percent during the first three quarters this year. The rapid expansion of Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier operator in the Middle East and North Africa, is a significant contributor to passenger growth The airline has added new flights to Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia this year and was recently named in the World Economic Forum’s Global Growth Companies (GGCs) list for 2014.

The airports statistics are consistent with the 15 percent increase in tourist numbers registered by Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) during the first half of 2014, with more than one million tourists staying in the emirate. Sharjah expects two million tourists to visit by the end of 2014, driven by overseas tourist visitors. The government has invested heavily in developing the sector’s infrastructure and tourism numbers and views tourism as a strategic pillar of the emirate’s economy.

Sharjah International expects to handle 25 million passengers by the year 2025 and has built a new 4,060 metre runway to add capacity for large and new-generation ICAO Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeings B747-8 Intercontinental and B747-8 freighter. The airport currently has one passenger terminal and five cargo terminals.

Meanwhile, frieght handled by Sharjah International dropped by 21% to 61,949 tonnes in the third quarter of 2014, compared with 78,498 tonnes during the same period of 2013.  (Also see Sharjah opens new AED 500 million airport runway)

Source: Sharjah International Airport, SCTDA

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