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Sharjah airport records nine per cent growth in 2010

Sharjah International Airport had a very successful 2010 with figures showing that the airport recorded a double-digit growth in passenger traffic and also saw a significant jump in freight volume.

The airport statistics showed an increase of 9.4 per cent in the number of passengers rising to 6.3mn passengers compared to 5.7mn arrivals in 2009. The statistics also show a growth of 6.4 per cent in aircraft movement from 61,451 flights in 2009 to 65,401 flights in 2010, reported Khaleej Times.

The figures also show that sea-air cargo handling increased significantly by 32.3 per cent from 50,355 to 66,665 tonnes. The volume of cargo grew by 30.7 per cent from 514, 881 tonnes against 393, 938 tonnes in 2009.

Dr. Ghanem Al Hajri, Director General of Sharjah Airport Authority (SAA), said. "2010 was one of the best years for the airport during which record rates were registered, whether in terms of passenger traffic or freight volume, despite the impact of the global financial crisis in the past few years, with the aviation industry being directly and indirectly affected."

Al Hajri said last year's positive results would further boost the airport's growth, emphasising the success of the airport management in facing challenges and adopting the best procedures that would solidify the airport's position in the region.

The strong growth at Sharjah airport has been linked to the continued success achieved by Air Arabia, the UAE national carrier, which has brought in higher passenger traffic through Sharjah as the airline opens new routes.

Al Hajri believes that the airport will see an increase in the number of passengers coming through Sharjah in the next few years which will require the airport to further expand in order to keep pace with this demand. As Sharjah airport expands, it will attract more airlines and air cargo companies.