Dubai: Sharjah Airport runway was shut for nearly two hours after a Boeing 707 crashed on Wednesday afternoon and killed six people.

“About eight flights had to be diverted to other airports due to this,” Ali Salem Al Midfa, Director of Sharjah International Airport, told Gulf News.

“Normal operations resumed after one hour and half, without any material damage to airport assets,” Al Midfa said.

The affected flights were mostly operated by Air Arabia, the Sharjah-based budget carrier which has increased the passenger traffic throughput significantly.

An Air Arabia spokesperson told Gulf News, “We had to divert about five flights, including some to Dubai. Some were approaching the UAE skies for landing when the accident happened. So we have to divert them.”

A source close to the development told Gulf News that Dubai Civil Aviation was closely working with Sharjah International Airport in diverting flights.

The UAE has six international airport, a number of small airstrips and four national carriers, including a now defunct airline, RAK Airways.

Dubai is building a new airport in Jebel Ali which while Abu Dhabi is redeveloping its existing airport.

The high density of airports in such close proximity provides solid cushion for airlines in such emergencies, which was felt during the 90-minutes shutdown following the air crash – the second in two and a half years time.