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Sharjah airport targets 20m passengers by 2026

Sharjah airport, the base of Air Arabia, received more than 2.8m passengers between July and August 2023 Wam
Sharjah airport, the base of Air Arabia, received more than 2.8m passengers between July and August 2023

Sharjah airport will implement several expansion plans to raise its passenger handling capacity to 20 million by 2026 to become one of the top five regional airports, according to Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority. 

The authority remains dedicated to boosting the airport’s facilities, infrastructure, and services, he said in a statement.

The AED2.4 billion ($653.42) Sharjah Airport expansion project, expected to be completed by 2026, aims to enhance service standards and boost flight capacity. 

The airport, the base for low-cost carrier Air Arabia, received more than 2.8 million passengers from over 30 countries on 17,700 flights between July and August 2023.

The highest percentage of passengers traveling to and from the Sharjah airport was from Doha, Qatar, with around 124,000 passengers, followed by Dhaka, Cairo, Trivandrum and Amman.

The airport last year received a total of 13.1 million passengers, up from seven million in 2021. The passenger numbers are expected to exceed pre-pandemic numbers to reach 13.6 million in 2023.

The latest figures from industry body the International Air Transport Association showed that total global air traffic in July 2023 rose 26.2 percent year on year and is operating at 95.6 percent of pre-Covid levels.

Middle Eastern airlines posted a 22.6 percent year on year increase in July traffic, and load factor – the measure of available seating capacity that has been filled – climbed 0.3 percentage points to 82.6 percent.

State-owned operator Abu Dhabi Airport earlier this month said the new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport will become operational in early November, significantly increasing the emirate’s passenger and cargo capacity.

The terminal will boost the emirate’s bid to position itself as a global hub for trade and business.

Dubai International Airport last month raised its annual target for passenger traffic to 85 million after surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first six months of the year.

The airport reported 41.6 million travellers in the first half of 2023, up 49 percent on the same period last year and marginally ahead of the traffic recorded during the first six months of 2019.