At 9am today, all airlines, including the national carrier Qatar Airways, will move their entire operations to the ultra-modern Hamad International Airport
A new chapter in Qatar’s aviation history begins today with Hamad International Airport (HIA) becoming the arrival and departure facility for all commercial passenger airlines operating into the country.
At 9am today, all airlines, including the national carrier Qatar Airways, will move their entire operations to the ultra-modern Hamad International Airport.
This means there will not be any commercial passenger airline operations from Doha International Airport from 9am this morning.
Along with Qatar Airways the following carriers will also move their entire operations to the HIA – British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Egyptair, Emirates, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, MEA Middle East Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.
In a phased manner from April 30, the other foreign airlines operating into Qatar have moved to HIA.
Qatar Airways yesterday said the historic move will enable its passengers to enjoy a “comprehensive five-star experience” at the “world’s newest international gateway”.
“The move of our entire operations to HIA is a momentous occasion for Qatar Airways, and one that we have been preparing for extensively for a long time,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker.
“Our move to HIA heralds a new beginning for Qatar Airways, as we will now be based in a world-class hub that has been entirely designed to meet the needs and expectations of even the most discerning passengers.
“With the capacity to handle nearly 8,700 customers an hour, HIA will provide a seamless, hassle-free experience to our passengers, from check-in to passport control and boarding. Qatar Airways passengers will be thrilled to enjoy the comfort and functional design of the new airport, along with the exceptional shopping and dining choices it offers.”
The HIA Passenger Terminal Complex will house a total of 138 check-in counters across “five islands”, including some 108 counters for Qatar Airways economy passengers and all other airlines, 16 counters dedicated to Qatar Airways Business Class travellers and 14 luxury, bespoke, seated check-in counters for Qatar Airways’ first class passengers.
Gulf Times data indicate that the Hamad International Airport complex will cover an area of 28sq km. The terminal building will have a size of 600,000sq m.
It will have an initial capacity of 24mn passengers a year, more than doubling to around 50mn by the time it is fully operational beyond 2015.
The airport has been designed in such a way that it will be able to handle superjumbos, including the Airbus A380s.
The HIA has two parallel runways, 2km apart, allowing for independent and simultaneous operations.
The airport’s cargo terminal, one of the largest in the world, has the capacity to move 5,700 shipments simultaneously and to handle 1.4mn tonnes of cargo a year by 2015, representing a 75% increase from the current airport.
Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority chairman Abdulaziz Mohamed al-Noaimi already said that Doha International Airport (DIA) would be used for the services of Qatar Aeronautical College and Gulf Helicopters once all airlines move their operations to the HIA.
For many years, Doha International Airport was Qatar’s gateway to the world and home to Qatar’s national airline, Qatar Airways. The airport was also home to the world’s first Premium Terminal dedicated to Qatar Airways’ first and business class passengers. Al-Noaimi had also said a portion of the existing airport will be kept as a “green strip”.