Dubai: Sharjah International Airport reported on Wednesday an 11.76 per cent increase in passenger traffic for 2014 compared to a year earlier.

The airport, located in the UAE’s third largest emirate, recorded 9.5 million passengers compared to 8.5 million in 2013.

Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of the Sharjah Airport Authority, said in a statement that the 2014 passenger numbers indicate the growing popularity of the airport.

“Robust passenger traffic growth continues at Sharjah International Airport,” he stated.

In the statement announcing the performance, the airport said the increase in passenger traffic in 2014 was spurred “on the back of new routes and additional frequencies … especially by Air Arabia.”

Sharjah International is the first and main hub for low cost carrier Air Arabia, which flies to 100 destinations from the airport. Air Arabia also has hubs in Ras Al Khaimah, Casablanca in Morocco, Alexandria in Egypt and recently announced it will soon commence hub operations from Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan.

The number of aircraft landings and take-offs at the Sharjah International rose 6.5 per cent to 70,559 in 2014 from 66,247 a year earlier. Cargo handled at the airpot in 2014 fell by almost 100 per cent to 240,000 tonnes compared to 295,402 tonnes in 2013.