Recording over 13 million passengers in 2022 Sharjah Airport secures leading position among airports that have returned to pre-pandemic operating levels
- Ali Salim Al Midfa: The significant milestones we achieved in the previous year reflects our commitment to enhancing the services offered as well as increasing the airport’s capacity.
- Sheikh Faisal Bin Saoud Al Qassimi: We further strive to achieve various degrees of excellence and success this year and thereby elevate the status of Sharjah Airport as one of the leading airports regionally and globally
Sharjah Airport Authority witnessed significant growth and achievements in the year 2022, highlighting its commitment to providing elevated levels of customer services and meeting passenger expectations. The achievements recorded by the Authority has positioned Sharjah Airport as one of the few airports to boost its operational rates and increase the number of passengers and air freight to the pre-pandemic levels. This has further contributed to solidifying the position of the Emirate of Sharjah on the global travel map, as well as strengthening the position of the UAE in the global aviation sector. The track record of the Authority for 2022 demonstrates its steadfast commitment to achieving its development and sustainable goals and strengthening its presence at the local and regional levels.
Record growth in passenger traffic
Sharjah Airport experienced a remarkable growth in the previous year, in terms of passenger traffic, flights, and cargo handling services, 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.
Furthermore, the passenger traffic also witnessed an exceptional growth rate of 84.73 per cent, increasing the numbers to nearly 13 million passengers in 2022, achieving the pre-pandemic levels (13.6 million passengers in 2019) as opposed to 7 million passengers in 2021. Meanwhile, the aircraft movement also 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 170,000 tonnes of freight were handled through the Sharjah Airport in 2022, indicating an increase of 21.20 percent from around 140,000 tonnes in 2021.
Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “The growth and achievements we recorded in the previous year reflects our commitment to meeting the evolving passenger expectations through our enhanced customer services. This further marks a significant step in our journey towards excellence and leadership, which is in line with the visions and aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. 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 the passengers. To satisfy the rising demand of the travel and air freight sectors as well as the needs and expectations of passengers, 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 have 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 that we are committed to. This is demonstrated by the excellent accolades the airport has earned for its superior customer service and degree of confidence on a local and regional scale.”
His Excellency Sheikh Faisal Bin Saoud Al Qassimi, Director of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “The remarkable growth of Sharjah Airport Authority is the result of the dedication of the staff and their extraordinary efforts, which reflected the Authority’s values and mission to strengthen Sharjah Airport’s leadership and its global competitiveness. The growth further represents the Authority’s successes in improving the travel experience of customers and offering them industry-leading services.”
His Excellency added: “With these achievements, we are eager to build on the growth and leadership that we have achieved by enhancing the infrastructure, leveraging the most cutting-edge technologies, and encouraging an innovative work environment within the Authority. This will help to solidify Sharjah Airport’s position as a leading airport regionally and globally.”
Achievements and Awards
Sharjah Airport was able to successfully renew its global accreditation certificate in the ‘Airport Carbon Accreditation’ program, which is issued by the Airports Council International (ACI), in recognition of its efforts to adopt numerous programs and initiatives for the best use of resources and energy in all its operations. Furthermore, Sharjah Airport maintained the final ‘Level 3+ Neutrality’ in carbon emissions.
For the second consecutive year, the airport was able to maintain its position as the first airport in the UAE and seventh in the Middle East by receiving the Airport Health Accreditation certificate (AHA) from the Airports Council International (ACI). After meeting the standards for the first level of the program, it further won the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation, making it one of the eight airports in the Middle East to receive this accreditation.
The airport further won the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ award in the category of ‘five to 15 million annual passengers per year’, as well as the ‘Voice of the Customer’ accreditation launched by the Airports Council International and sponsored by Amadeus Technology Solutions.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority also honoured Sharjah Airport Authority for 100 per cent compliance to the national standard for the business continuity management system. The Authority was also recognised for winning the Sharjah Excellence Award 2020–2021 under the Sharjah Corporate Social Responsibility Category.
Additionally, the Authority’s remarkable documentation system enabled it to receive the ISO: 30301 certification for efficiently managing documents and records. Moreover, it was also successful in renewing the ISO: 27001 certificate concerned with technological information security management systems, and the ISO: 10001 for implementing a special charter for customer service. The airport also renewed the ISO: 10002, and ISO: 10003 certificates for handling customer complaints and disputes with the Authority’s various service delivery sites and channels.
New Smart Services
Sharjah Airport Authority was eager to complete the self-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. The system allows passengers to seamlessly complete verification procedures within five to seven seconds.
The self service travel journey at Sharjah Airport enables passenger to easily print their boarding passes and tags for bags using self-check-in kiosks, and hand over the luggage to the Self Baggage Drop; before proceeding towards the passport control area for automated boarding pass verification. The passenger can clear immigration in less than 20 seconds by entering through Smart Gates and finally reaching the new Automated Boarding Control (ABC) Gates to boarding the aircraft.
Additionally, Sharjah Airport Authority was eager to deploy innovative technologies and smart solutions to assist tourists in having a seamless and fully supported travel experience. As a result, in conjunction with UAE Innovation Month, 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 through voice and video calls.
In collaboration with Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park and Huawei, Sharjah Airport Authority established a cooperative effort that blends strengthening operational procedures with social responsibility. The concept comprises providing a technologically advanced smart environment in which university students can devise creative digital solutions under the direct supervision of experts in order to better understand the challenges that the aviation sector faces.
New Airlines and Destinations
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 from Cairo International Airport, Egypt’s largest private airline; Tarco Aviation from Khartoum, Sudan; and Biman Bangladesh Airlines from Dhaka and back via Chittagong to Dhaka in Bangladesh at a rate of four flights per week.
Furthermore, US-Bangla Airlines also commenced daily flights through Sharjah Airport to and from Dhaka in Bangladesh, SpiceJet to and from India at a rate of 15 flights per week, Belavia Belarusian Airlines from Minsk at a rate of one flight per day, and Red Wings Airlines from Makhachkala at a rate of one flight per week.
Sharjah Airport Authority continued expanding Sharjah Airport, which it began in 2017, with an aim of increasing its capacity to 20 million passengers by 2026. The Authority concluded the comprehensive maintenance program in the passenger terminal in 2022, which comprised development and improvement work for all airport facilities, including the arrivals terminal, to further improve the customer experience.
Furthermore, a strategy has been established to extend the airport’s main building and upgrade the baggage transit system in order to increase baggage handling capacity by at least 50 per cent above its current capacity.
Distinguished Participations and Attendance
Sharjah Airport Authority is committed to expand its participation in all regional and international events and conferences. The Authority took part in the World Travel Market Exhibition, the GITEX Technology Exhibition, the Sharjah International Travel and Tourism Forum, Sharjah Events Festival, as well as the India Air Cargo 2022 and Passengers Terminal Expo.
The Authority’s participation at these local and global events served as a catalyst to boost the exceptional services it provides, further fostering confidence of passengers in Sharjah Airport as a preferred choice for travel, which has been possible by leveraging the integrated system that the Airport adopts to serve customers.
With an aim to continue the process of sustainable achievements, Sharjah Airport is committed to develop its infrastructure and obtain further merits through its innovative work environment, which has resulted in the delivery of pioneering services that achieve exceptional customer satisfaction.
- COUNTRY / AREA
- Sharjah Airport