The Hamad International Airport (HIA) handled 529,436 tonnes of cargo during the first quarter of 2020, which represents a 4.7% increase in the global hub’s cargo activity in comparison to the same quarter last year.
In detail, the HIA handled 176,279 tonnes in January, 173,248 tonnes in February and 179,909 tonnes in March.
This increase in cargo is partly attributed to Qatar Airways’ and the HIA’s continued efforts to provide freighter services in response to the increased demand for essential goods and medical supplies, locally and internationally.
National carrier Qatar Airways continues to support worldwide connectivity, re-establishment of the global supply chain, and meeting the market’s demand for freight exports and imports through Qatar Airways Cargo, its freight division.
This includes the transportation of urgent medical relief aid and humanitarian assistance, which is pivotal to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airline continues to operate a significant cargo schedule with approximately 175 freighter and belly-hold passenger flights per day.
Last month the cargo operator worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport in excess of 100,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter services, the equivalent of roughly 1,000 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters. Freight charters are being operated to multiple countries including China, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, the UK, the US and Australia.
Qatar Airways Cargo set a new record last week, operating some 78 freighter flights and 69 freight-only passenger flights, a total of 147 dedicated cargo flights in a day to support countries with relief aid amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
In co-ordination with the Qatar Airways Group and international government entities, the HIA continues to operate to ensure passengers reach home safely. The HIA has also been fulfilling its national duty towards the people of Qatar by bringing home Qatari citizens from around the world.
To ensure the well-being of passengers, the HIA, in co-operation with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), MATAR Management and Qatar Airways, is also conducting entry screening of all arriving passengers and crew terminating at Doha on a round-the-clock basis. All terminating passengers (Qatari nationals) are being quarantined for 14 days as per the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.
The HIA is also fully equipped with epidemiological surveillance cameras across the terminal and an established medical clinic at the airport, operated by MoPH on a 24x7 basis.
The HIA is also looking forward to the completion of its multi-phased airport expansion plan which focuses on safety and sustainability. Phase A of the expansion will be completed before the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar to increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53mn passengers annually by 2022. Phase B, which will be completed after 2022, will further increase the airport’s capacity to more than 60mn passengers per year. The 140,000 sqm terminal building located airside, will feature a 10,000 sqm indoor tropical garden, a 268 sqm water feature, 11,720 sqm of landscaped retail and F&B space and 9,000 sqm of a world-class Al Mourjan lounge.
The HIA is simultaneously accelerating its digital transformation as well, to become the “airport-of-the-future.”
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