Passenger traffic at Sharjah International Airport grew by 6 percent in July, compared with July 2014, while regular passenger numbers continued to grow throughout the first half of 2015*. Last month 837,316 passengers embarked, disembarked or transferred via the airport, compared with 793,260 last year, continuing the year’s strong growth in passenger traffic.
Figures for the first half of 2015 indicate a growth rate of about 6 percent compared with adjusted figures* for the first half of 2014, with 5.6 million passengers passing through Sharjah International. Adjusted figures for in H1 2014 compared to H1 2013, show a similar growth rate of 7 percent for last year.
Actual passenger figures for the first half of 2014 include extraordinary passenger increases of 27 percent in May and 25 percent during June due to the volume of traffic diverted from Dubai International Airport because of a scheduled runway closure. The extraordinary increase boosted total H1 2014 passenger traffic by 14 percent, skewing annual airport traffic growth figures. However, passenger growth in January, February, March, April and July 2015 averages 6 percent compared to 2014 statistics for those months.
Sharjah International Airport’s growth is driven by the expansion of Sharjah-headquartered budget airline Air Arabia, established international carrier routes and private aviation. Air Arabia carried over 6.8 million passengers in 2014, registering 12 percent year-on-year passenger growth. Meanwhile, global business aviation services company Gama Aviation is investing US$15 million (AED 55m) in expanding its Sharjah hub.
Meanwhile, Air India and its budget travel subsidiary Air India Express announced plans this week to increase the number of flights between Sharjah and cities in India. The airline group already operates 60 flights per week from Sharjah to 7 Indian cities and Air India Express has announced three new weekly flights from Sharjah to an eighth destination, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, beginning this month.
Sharjah International Airport opened a new AED 500 million (US$ 136m) airport runway in 2014, expanding airport capacity and allowing it to welcome new-generation ICAO Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeings B747-8 Intercontinental and B747-8 freighter.
Source: Sharjah Airport Authority
*adjusted growth statistics used are unofficial (not provided by Sharjah Airport Authority)