Sharjah airport traffic up

An artist’s impression of the expansions underway at Sharjah airport

THE year-end summary for 2006 shows tremendous achievements in the commercial sector for the Sharjah International Airport.

With the airport expansion well underway, the new arrivals areas was the first unveiled surprise for passengers in August 2006, followed by the opening of a new area, where Arrivals and Departures passengers can experience the open lounges concept for the first time at the airport.
Sharjah airport is known for its high-ranking freight services in the region, says a spokesperson. However its commercial strategy has taken huge strides with the increased movement of passengers and aircrafts over the year.
“Sharjah International Airport has seen an increase in the demand from commercial passengers over the recent years. To accommodate the increase in passenger traffic and aircraft movement the airport embarked on a massive expansion project,” said Sharjah Airport Authority director Ali Salem Al Midfa.
“We have already seen the high flying results in 2006 with the usage of the new arrivals hall and aim to provide all travelers flying through the Sharjah International Airport with the best services and facilities that match international airport standards.”
The latest statistics show a total of 39,671 flights which is a 13.93 per cent increase compared to November 2005. Sharjah International Airport is also home to the Middle East’s first Low cost carrier- Air Arabia- which saw its route portfolio expand tremendously in 2006.
New commercial carriers inaugurated their flights during this year to serve both cargo and industries, besides existing operators who have either increased their frequencies or launched new destinations to cope with growing demand. With so many new routes available to passengers for the first time, the airport saw passenger traffic increase by 36.33 per cent compared to 2005.
A record increase in travellers from Sharjah airport has seen flight frequency rise at many commercial airlines, making the airport a busy hub for passenger flights this year. The airport crossed the two million mark in passenger traffic and the most recent totals in November show passenger movement totalling 2,722,306.

The new retail landscape at the airport offers an increased variety in shopping as Sharjah Dufry outlets opened in more locations at the airport. The airport also saw an increase in retail interest as more passengers participated in the promotion and explored the expanded retail outlets and extended product variety, with plans to introduce new retailers and branded F&B outlets.