Sharjah Airport records a new number of passengers handled in 2018. With over 12.04 million passengers in 2018 and 11.36 million in 2017, the year-on-year growth was 6%. The number of scheduled and unscheduled flights also increased by 4.68% in 2018, with 77.62 thousand flights in 2017 and more than 81.26 thousand flights last year.
Sharjah Airport’s remarkable success is the result of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the excellent services that the Airport provides to both passengers and partners. Sharjah is the preferred airport for many international airlines entering the region’s markets.
Air freight traffic through the Airport reached 132.66 thousand tons in 2018, the sea-air freight increased by 27.27% to 13.64 thousand tons. The highest number of passengers handled 1.211 million was recorded in August, and the Airport recorded the highest growth rate – 13.33% – in June. In terms of aircraft movements, the number of flights peaked in August with 7,708 trips, while the highest growth rate – 10.39% – was recorded in July.
HE Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said, “We are pleased with Sharjah Airport’s achievements last year; these are the results of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, who follows up on the Airport’s plans and strategies, which are in line with developments in the domestic and international aviation sectors and travel markets.”
His Excellency added, “Sharjah Airport’s excellent results in 2018 in terms of the growth in the number of passengers, flights and freight reflects the Airport’s outstanding status, which is rising steadily based on programs and plans designed to ensure that the Airport keeps up with the Emirate of Sharjah’s developments in different areas in line with the aspirations of our wise leadership and the expectations of passengers and customers.”
His Excellency explained that all levels of the Airport’s management are keen to continue working with all partners and are always exploring opportunities to enhance the airport’s capacity, to keep pace with the development and expansion and to fulfil the needs of different market sectors.
H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Saud Al Qassimi, Director of Sharjah Airport Authority, emphasised that Sharjah’s unique position as an economic, commercial, tourism and cultural centre was the foundation for the Airport’s successes in 2018. He said that the Airport would continue to develop and grow, upgrading its services and implementing ongoing plans for development. He extended his thanks to the Airport’s users – which include passengers, customers, airlines, strategic partners, travel agents, private tour operators and private companies supporting the Airport’s operations – for trusting Sharjah Airport and using its services and facilities.
In 2018, Sharjah Airport implemented a number of community initiatives and projects, welcomed new airlines, added flights and won several awards; this contributed to the Airport’s local, regional and international standing. The Airport also recruited a significant number of Emiratis last year. The most notable achievements include:
His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, have reviewed and approved the designs for the expansion of Sharjah Airport. Based on the design, the exterior will be shaped like the wing of a plane ending in a structure shaped like a book, inspired by the fact that Sharjah is the Cultural Capital. The project will include two departure halls and two passport control areas to maintain the flow of passengers through the airport. A new VIP lounge with a separate entrance and exit will serve businesspeople in the UAE. It is expected that the support services buildings will be completed in the first quarter of 2020, while the project will be finished in the third quarter of 2022.
Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA) has implemented a comprehensive airport expansion plan at a cost of AED 1.5 billion. The plan includes the expansion of the terminal building and increasing the airport’s capacity to 20 million passengers by 2025. Parsons International was appointed to manage the development project with an AED 51.5 million contract. As a part of the overall development project, SAA has signed three agreements at a total cost of approximately AED 100 million: ADP Ingénierie was commissioned to design the airport expansion project and supervise the construction work with an AED 67 million contract; CORE Engineering Consultancy L.L.C. was appointed as a consultant for the project to remove certain buildings; and the AED 26 million contract for the design and construction of the sewage plant was awarded to Metito Overseas Limited.
Based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the Directorate of Public Works completed a new 1,200-metre road network for Sharjah Airport, including a suspended bridge that extends more than 330 metres at a cost of approximately AED 85 million. The bridge provides access to Sharjah Airport for arrivals from Sharjah and other emirates.
A total of 1,120 parking spaces were created for employees, visitors and customers, with 192 parking spaces in Lot A for staff, 845 spaces in Lot B for staff and 83 parking spaces for visitors.
A contract with CORE Engineering Consultancy L.L.C. has concluded. The contract, which amounted to 4.9% of the total cost of the project, was for the design and supervision of the expansion of the eastern area of the current airport building and the addition of new lounges in order to increase the building’s capacity by 1000 passengers per hour. The tender for the expansion project was awarded to the Bin Laden Contracting Group at a cost of AED 29.6 million. The project started on September 1st 2018 and is expected to finish on April 15th 2019. CORE is currently preparing tenders to start the work on the Engineering and Development Department building, the procurement and warehousing section, and the department that maintains ground-based equipment.
The sewage plant expansion project was awarded to Metito at a cost of AED 26 million. After the expansion, the new capacity will be 3,000 cubic metres per day, which can be increased to 4,500 cubic metres per day. The project will be completed on March 18th 2019.
- Sharjah Airport’s Duty Free re-opened after an upgrade. With a new total area of 1800 square metres, the Duty Free has attracted new international brands, adding to the existing stores. The upgrade was part of an effort to diversify the Airport’s services and products.
Airlines (Scheduled and Unscheduled Flights)
- Sharjah Airport received the first Pegasus Airlines flight from SabihaGokcen International Airport in Istanbul. The plane was welcomed with a traditional water salute. The Turkish Airline launched the daily flight in order to capitalise on the increasing demand for travel to and from Sharjah.
- Sharjah Airport received Pakistan International Airlines’ inaugural flight from Sialkot. The Airline plans to strengthen its position in the Gulf region with two flights per week between Sharjah Airport and Sialkot.
- Sharjah Airport received Cham Wings Airlines’ first flight from Damascus. The Airline offers four flights per week.
- Sharjah Airport received the first Jordan Aviation flight from Amman. The Airline offers two flights per week.
- Sharjah Airport also received a number of charter airlines operating unscheduled weekly flights from several cities in Russia and Central Asia, including Russia Air, Royal Air and SCAT Airlines, all of which operate flights during the winter season.
- During the last Hajj season, Air Arabia operated 23 additional flights and the Airport received more than 200 additional Air India flights.
- In 2018, Air Arabia, which is based at Sharjah Airport, added seven new destinations: Bodrum and Izmir in Turkey, Grozny in Russia, Qabala in Azerbaijan, Sulaymaniyah in Iraq, and Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
Over the past year, Sharjah Airport (SAA) participated in a large number of local and international aviation industry exhibitions, introducing its services, learning about best practices, exchanging experiences and keeping abreast of the latest developments and technologies in the sector. The following are the most prominent:
- SAA showcased the Airport’s latest achievements, expansion plans and services for passengers while participating in the Arabian Travel Market at Dubai World Trade Centre on April 22nd-25th, 2018.
- SAA participated in GITEX Technology Week 2018 as part of Sharjah Government’s pavilion; the event was held at Dubai World Trade Centre on October 14th to 18th. SA showcased the Airport’s smart services for passengers, customers and businessmen, and launched the new Sharjah Airport application.
- As part of its effort to recruit Emiratis, SAA participated in the 20th National Career Exhibition at Expo Centre Sharjah from February 7th to 9th, 2018. There were many participants from various government agencies and the private sector.
- In line with the National Innovation Strategy and as part of its participation in UAE Innovation Week, SAA organised a ceremony to re-launch the ‘My Innovation’ program to encourage employees to be creative and to contribute to the improvement and development of processes and systems at the Airport.
- The Airport participated in the World Travel Market (WTM) in London on November 5th-7th for the 14th time in a row.
- Under Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), SAA participated in the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT), one of the top five international travel and tourism exhibitions, at the Expocentre Moscow on March 13th-15th.
- In order to highlight its most prominent services, SAA participated in ITB Berlin in Berlin, Germany from March 7th to 11th.
- SAA participated in the Kazakhstan International Tourism Fair 2018 (KITF), which was held at the Almaty International Exhibition Centre from April 18th to 20th with the participation of exhibitors from around the world.
- SAA participated in the 29th Air Cargo Forum 2018 (TIACA), which was held in Toronto, Canada from October 16th to 18th. SAA reviewed the latest services and facilities provided to the air freight sector.
- Sharjah Airport achieved Level 3 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation, making it the first airport in the UAE and the third airport in the Middle East to get to this level. The achievement was announced during the Airports Council International meeting in Narita, Japan, and SAA was commended on its achievements and efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
- Recently, SAA received the ISO 27001:2013 Quality Assurance Certificate for its Information Security Management System, adding to the success of its efforts and commitment to providing services of the highest standards in line with international best practices.
- SAA had a new achievement when its medical centre obtained the ISO 10002:2014 (Customer Satisfaction), which is related to Customer Service and Complaints Management, a reflection of Sharjah Airport’s emphasis on customer satisfaction and resolving complaints as quickly as possible.
SAA launched several community initiatives that served a wide range of community members, enhancing its presence at social, charitable and national events. The most important initiatives are as follows:
- During the past year, SAA honoured 18 winners of the ‘Because We Care’ program, which was launched 10 years ago. The program allows customers and passengers to provide feedback and suggestions about services and facilities. The feedback is used to upgrade these services and make them faster and more efficient.
- From July 10th to 14th, Sharjah Airport hosted the Natural History & Botanical Museum’s mobile exhibition. The Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) arranged for the exhibition to be displayed at various government departments and organisations in Sharjah.
- As part of an initiative aimed at celebrating the values of the holy month of Ramadan, SAA distributed thousands of free Iftar meals to fasting passengers and customers.
- SAA hosted Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services’ ‘We Are All Responsible’ campaign, which was launched to promote social responsibility by making it possible for individuals and organisations to contribute to the construction of new buildings in the city.
- SAA organised an annual ceremony at Al Jawaher Center for Events and Conferences to honour the outstanding employees and organisations that contributed to Sharjah Airport’s many achievements and successes.
- SAA organised a special event for Hajj season in cooperation with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments and the Ministry of Health in the interest of assisting pilgrims. SAA allocated smart gates and an area for passport control procedures for the pilgrims’ convenience.
- During Sharjah Airport’s three-day ‘Back to School’ campaign, SAA welcomed families and children with activities including small gifts, balloons and face painting for kids, which made them happy.
- A number of community initiatives were launched, including Iftar for people were fasting, National Day and Commemoration Day events and other initiatives that helped to enhance communication among SAA, passengers, customers and various social groups.