The Sharjar Airports Authority has announced that the airport received 13.6 million passengers in the year 2019, an increase of 13% of the previous year.
The authority made the announcement in a meeting headed by HE Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA), in the presence of HE Sheikh Faisal bin Saoud Al Qassimi, Director of Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA).
SAA announced the most important achievements and successes of 2019 and revealed plans and programmes that will be implemented in 2020.
According to zawya.com, the meeting was held at the Sharjah Air Al Mahatta museum due to its historical significance to aviation in the region; the first airplane landed in October 1932 at the first Emirati airport.
HE Ali Salim Al Midfa reviewed Sharjah Airport’s most important achievements of 2019, which helped to enhance the Airport’s regional and global standing.
These included a year-on-year increase of 13% in the number of passengers, which totalled 13.6 million in 2019, the highest number in the history of the Airport, as compared to 12 million passengers in 2018. Sharjah Airport is one of the region’s leading airports in terms of passenger numbers.
Ali Salim Al Midfa highlighted the statistics for aircraft traffic (both scheduled and unscheduled flights), which increased 6.45% to 86,506 take-offs and landings as compared to 81.26 thousand take-offs and landings in 2018 as a result of the Airport attracting new airlines and adding new flights. This is a response to efforts to promote Sharjah Airport’s importance and appeal and to the increasing number of options provided to passengers, including connections to more than 105 destinations around the world.
SAA’s Chairman also discussed the performance of the air freight sector, which grew to more than 148.751 thousand tons in 2019, including 11,674 tons last December. The volume of air freight from last January to December reached 15.290 thousand tons, an increase of 12.12% compared to the same period in 2019.
His Excellency explained that SAA prioritises the happiness and comfort of passengers, customers and employees based on the belief that this is reflected in the Airport’s competitiveness. He pointed out that SAA has created and developed a number of services to enhance the passenger experience.
During the meeting, different departments presented the previous year’s most prominent projects and accomplishments, which helped to strengthen the Airport’s leading position at the local, regional and global levels. They also presented the latest smart services and applications developed to meet the needs of the Airport’s customers and passengers. In 2019, an updated version of the Sharjah Airport application was launched, a pioneering step in the digital transformation of airports in the Middle East. With important information designed to meet passenger and customer needs, the application provides an enjoyable and unique travel experience.
During the meeting, officials discussed the smart gates’ role in making passenger traffic smoother and more flexible by reducing transaction time to a maximum of 20 seconds. This is in line with the Airport’s strategy to make the travel experience more accessible by providing services at the highest international standard. More than 3 million passengers used the smart gates in 2019.
HE Ali Salim Al Midfa said, “During 2019, there were a number of achievements in all areas – including services that aimed to enhance customer happiness and provide an exceptional passenger experience – based on the vision and directions of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the follow-up of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Executive Council. We are happy with the statistics from 2019. We look forward to further accomplishments including the completion of expansion plans for the Airport, which will increase capacity to 20 million passengers per annum by 2025.”
His Excellency added, “Thanks to the speed and efficiency of procedures and services, Sharjah Airport gained the confidence of a broad segment of passengers and attracted new airlines while maintaining its appeal for airlines and passengers. This helped to enhance Sharjah’s positioning as a preferred tourist destination and an important hub for trade and business.”
He extended his thanks to all Sharjah Airport users including passengers, airlines, travel agents, private tour operators and private companies that support SAA’s operations for their trust in Sharjah Airport and for using its services and facilities.
HE Sheikh Faisal bin Saoud Al Qassimi emphasised that the growth in passenger numbers was achieved as a result of Sharjah’s distinguished position as an important economic, commercial and tourist hub in the region, the Airport’s distinctive services for air carriers, and the growing number of destinations.
He added, “More services and features will be provided to the Airport’s customers to enhance passenger loyalty and satisfaction as we continue to improve and provide the best passenger and customer experience.”
After the meeting, the team from the Airport toured Al Mahatta Museum with Manal Ataya. They were briefed on the museum’s most important sections and assets, especially those dating back to the beginning and development of air traffic in the Emirate of Sharjah. The team expressed their happiness and thanks for the warm reception and the atmosphere that was created for Sharjah Airport Authority’s important annual meeting.
During 2019, Sharjah Airport implemented multiple community initiatives and projects in addition to welcoming new airlines, winning awards and participating in national and international initiatives and events; this established the Airport at local, regional and global levels. The most notable achievements include:
Sharjah Airport ranks fourth internationally in terms of accuracy and punctuality.
In 2019, Sharjah Airport made a unique achievement, ranking first among MENA airports and fourth internationally in terms of accuracy and punctuality according to OIG, the international provider of airport and airline data. In a domestic and international achievement, Sharjah Airport’s accuracy in terms of flight departure times was 91.1% in the first half (H1) of 2019.
Last year, SAA celebrated the 10th anniversary of the “Because We Care” customer feedback programme. A great success, the programme has encouraged customers and passengers to submit thousands of suggestions that have helped to improve the quality of passenger and customer services, enhancing customer and passenger satisfaction.
Also, Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace commenced flight operations into Sharjar last year. Air Peace chairman, Allen Onyema, said: “We have started our international operations into Sharjah and into UAE (United Arab Emirates) and we are not just doing Lagos-Sharjah alone, we are also doing every destination in Nigeria to Sharjah and Dubai. We have an agreement with SATA. They are the ones in charge of Air Arabia and some other airlines. So we have an agreement with SATA, with the consent of Air Arabia and others to act on their behalf as a middleman.”