And Finally! Doha’s new airport finally set to open on May 27 after missing previous deadlines
Qatar’s new Hamad International Airport (HIA) will open to all airlines, including the country’s national carrier, at the end of May, according to a circular issued by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA), Doha News reported.
The circular, issued on Monday, comes less than a fortnight after it was reported the QCAA had set a soft launch date of April 30 for 10 budget carriers.
According to the news service, the new memo said that as of 9am on May 27 “all airlines shall entirely move to Hamad International Airport”.
No official statement has been issued by Qatar authorities but a spokesperson from budget carrier flydubai told Arabian Business last week that it would move its existing nine daily flight operations from the main terminal at Doha International Airport to the new Hamad International Airport from April 30.
“The airport’s modern facilities and flydubai’s newly introduced Business Class will offer passengers traveling between Doha and Dubai an enhanced and more personalized travel experience,” the spokesperson said.
The $15.5bn planned hub for Qatar Airways has missed a series of launch dates, including the end of 2012, April 1 2013 and the end of last year.
Due to increased transit growth in Qatar and the region in the past few years, modifications were necessary to deliver an airport with a capacity of 30 million on opening day.
HIA and Airport City span a total of 29 sq km, 60 percent on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf.
More than 1,000 architects, designers, engineering consultants, and project managers worked on the project, through more than 200 local, regional and international contractors and service contracts.
In its opening configuration, the terminal has three concourses and 33 contact gates, increasing to five concourses and 65 contact gates, including eight for the A380 in the final build-out.
The terminal also includes 16 lounges, 28 art installations, more than 100 F&B and retail outlets, a transit hotel, swimming pool, luxury spa and squash courts. An on-site public mosque will be able to accommodate 500 worshippers.
By Beatrice Thomas