Around 170,544 tonnes of freight was handled through the Sharjah Airport in 2022.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sharjah Airport experienced a remarkable growth in the previous year achieving the Authority’s primary objectives of revamping the Emirate’s tourism sector as well as elevating the airport’s status as one of the top five airports in the region.
Passenger traffic witnessed a growth rate of 84.73 per cent, increasing the numbers to nearly 13 million passengers in 2022, as opposed to 7 million passengers in 2021. Meanwhile, aircraft movement experienced an increase of 51.69 per cent to 87,495 flights in 2022, as compared to 57,679 by the end of 2021. Moreover, around 170,544 tonnes of freight were handled through the Sharjah Airport in 2022, indicating an increase of 21.20 per cent from around 140,717 tonnes in 2021.
Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “The growth and achievements recorded in the previous year reflects our commitment to meeting evolving passenger expectations through our enhanced customer services. This marks a significant step in our journey towards excellence and leadership, which is in line with the visions and aspirations of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah and are as a result of the close supervision of Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council. The remarkable results resonate our strategic goals of reviving the travel industry in the Emirate of Sharjah, together with our ambitions to offer elevated levels of services. To satisfy the rising demand of the travel and air freight sectors, we further aim at raising our investments in expanding the airport’s capacity and enhancing the network of tourism destinations.”
Al Midfa added: “The immense success we achieved is attributed to our dedicated workforce, cutting-edge infrastructure, as well as the use of several innovative technologies, together with our ideals of excellence and leadership. This is demonstrated by the accolades the airport has earned for its superior customer service and degree of confidence on a local and regional scale.”
Sheikh Faisal Bin Saoud Al Qassimi, Director of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “The remarkable growth of Sharjah Airport Authority is the result of the staff’s dedication and their extraordinary efforts, which reflected the Authority’s values and mission. The growth further represents the Authority’s successes in improving travel experiences of customers and offering them industry-leading services.”
He added: “We are eager to build on the growth and leadership that we have achieved by enhancing infrastructure, leveraging most cutting-edge technologies, and encouraging an innovative work environment. This will help to solidify Sharjah Airport’s position as a leading airport regionally and globally.”
The airport won the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation, making it one of the eight airports in the Middle East to receive this accreditation. The airport also won ‘Best Airport of the Middle East’, in the category ‘five to 15 million annual passengers per year’ as well as the ‘Voice of the Customer’ award by Airports Council International (ACI). Sharjah Airport was also honoured by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority for 100 per cent compliance to the national standard for the business continuity management system. The Authority also won the Sharjah Excellence Award 2020-2021 under the Sharjah Corporate Social Responsibility Category.
Sharjah Airport Authority was eager to complete the self-service travel journey in 2022 after launching and using the Automatic Boarding Control (ABC) Gates, the first-of-its-kind system in the United Arab Emirates that utilises an automatic visa verification system, and passengers can complete the verification process in 5 to 7 seconds. Furthermore, passengers can now complete their travel procedures on their own after arriving at the airport till boarding the aircraft. This includes self-printing the boarding passes and baggage tags, followed by boarding card validation, then passing through the Smart Gates and scanning personal documents in less than 20 seconds, guaranteeing a smooth and unique travel experience through Sharjah Airport. Additionally, the Authority created the Smart Information Desk. The Smart Information Desk offers several smart and innovative services that allows passengers to communicate with the customer service staff.
Sharjah Airport’s network includes more than 100 tourism destinations across the globe. In 2022, the airport added two more destinations via Air Arabia – Osh, Kyrgyzstan, and Milan, Italy. To improve connectivity between these destinations, Sharjah Airport welcomed the inaugural flights of several airlines, including Nile Air, Tarco Aviation and Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
Furthermore, Sharjah Airport Authority continued expanding Sharjah Airport, which began in 2017, to increase its capacity to 20 million passengers by 2026. The Authority concluded the maintenance program in the passenger terminal in 2022, including the arrivals terminal, to further improve customer experiences.