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Sharjah Opens A380-Compliant Second Runway

Sharjah Opens A380-Compliant Second Runway

New Dhs500 million runway enables airport to target more premium travellers flying on widebody aircraft

Sharjah International Airport has opened a second runway spanning 4,060sqm which can handle A380s.

It has the twin advantage of enabling the airport to target more A380 carriers globally and thereby increase passenger volumes. The Dhs500 million runway took two years to complete.

Sharjah handled more than 7.2 million passengers in the first seven months of the year although the bulk of them arrived on low-cost Air Arabia’s A320s. The prospect of three-class A380s touching down provides the airport and duty free with opportunities to target high-spending premium passengers.

The broader question will be how the ground infrastructure develops and whether carriers will be drawn to Sharjah, given Dubai’s pre-eminent hub status, and rise of other airports regionally. Qatar Airways recently started A380 flights to London from its new hub at Hamad International Airport – overnight it confirmed Bangkok will be its third route from January 5 – and Etihad’s first A380s will depart Abu Dhabi from December.

But overall it’s good news for UAE travellers, and means competition for widebody business is increasing across the GCC.

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