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Summer vacations boost July Sharjah passenger traffic by 24%

Sharjah International Airport saw a 24 percent jump in passenger traffic in July, handling over one million passengers during the month as summer vacation travel filled up airline seats. The increase was significantly more than the 17 percent registered from June to July last year. Year-on-year, passenger numbers this July grew by a total of 8 percent compared with July 2016.

Overall, 6.5 million airline passengers passed through Sharjah during the first seven months of the year, about 3.5 percent more than during the same period in 2016. The month of July was only the second time in the airport’s history that passenger traffic exceeded one million passengers (the first million passenger month being August 2016).

August and September are also expected to be high-performing months for Sharjah airport, driven by seasonal traffic and successful travel and tourism promotions. Airport growth is supported by Sharjah-based budget carrier Air Arabia, which has been running discount promotions over the summer. The airline has also added new routes to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland and Sohar, on the Batinah coast of the Sultanate of Oman, plus a summer season non-stop service to the historic Turkish port city of Trabzon.

Air India Express operated some 40 additional flights from Kerala and Delhi to Sharjah for India’s Hindu Onam festival between 22 August and 4 September.

Meanwhile, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) ran a summer promotion campaign over July and August, aimed at driving entertainment, leisure, retail and tourism sales, and underpinned by discounts of up to 50 percent. ‘Sharjah Summer’ is the emirate’s first summer campaign that integrates offers from airlines, hotels, government institutions, travel agencies, shopping centres and other private sector companies.

Sharjah International Airport registered a 10 percent year-on-year increase in passengers last year, handling 11 million passengers from January to December 2016. . Sharjah Airport Authority recently appointed US engineering consultancy Parsons Overseas Limited to oversee the US$400 million (AED 1.46b) expansion of the airport, to increase capacity to handle 25 million passengers by the year 2027.

Source: SAA, various

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