Passenger traffic more than doubled at Sharjah Airport in the first half of the year amid a continued recovery in travel demand.
The airport handled six million passengers between January and June, up from 2.5 million in the first half of last year, as demand for leisure and business travel continued to rebound, it said in a statement on Monday.
The growth was driven by a recovery among its airline customers, “including Air Arabia, the UAE national carrier based in Sharjah Airport, who has successfully recommenced their operations to various destinations in their network, which has resulted in the growing number of passengers in the airport”, said Ali Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority.
The global aviation industry is in the midst of a post-pandemic rebound that has been complicated by a labour shortage, higher oil prices, rising inflation and supply chain problems.
Sharjah Airport is home to Air Arabia, which is optimistic about the financial outlook for 2022 as it expects air travel demand to remain strong this year and next, after dampened appetite during the pandemic, Adel Ali, group chief executive of Air Arabia, said at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai in May.
Sharjah Airport recorded a total of 41,189 aircraft movements in the first half of 2022, compared with 21,709 in the same period last year, it said.
“As a result of increased demand for travel through Sharjah Airport, particularly in light of the expansion of the network of destinations served by the airport, the positive growth in travel rates is expected to continue in the second half of 2022 as well,” Mr Al Midfa said.
Between January and June, Sharjah Airport handled more than 96,000 tonnes of cargo, an increase of 50.39 per cent compared to 63,844 tonnes in same period last year.
Air cargo has been a rare bright spot for the aviation industry during the past two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, with rates increasing due to a surge in e-commerce and pandemic-related supply chain bottlenecks driving demand for air cargo services.