Qatar Airways has announced that it will move to its new home at Hamad International Airport (HIA) on May 27, 2014.
“We have been planning for this day for a long time and May 27 will be a momentous day for both the State of Qatar and Qatar Airways as we commence operations from Hamad International Airport ,” said Qatar Airways chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker.
HIA is located four kilometres from the current Doha International Airport, and was built on land of which 60 per cent was reclaimed from the sea.
The airport, which will operate Concourses A, B and C initially, will have the capacity to accommodate an annual passenger count of 30 million upon opening. The airport will eventually be able to receive 50 million passengers a year once Concourses D and E are opened and the airport is operating at full capacity.
The airport features 138 check-in counters across five islands, comprising of 108 counters for Qatar Airways’ economy passengers and all other airlines; 14 seated check-in areas for Qatar Airways’ first class passengers; and 16 counters dedicated to Qatar Airways’ business class passengers.
In addition, HIA will operate 41 contact gates, which will increase to 65 once the airport opens Concourses D and E with six of the gates dedicated to servicing the Airbus A380 aircraft, of which Qatar Airways has 13 on order with the first delivery expected in early June.
HIA contains 41 widebody aircraft contact gates (which will rise to 65 on final completion), together with over 25,000sqm of retail space (104 retail outlets and 30 cafes/restaurants), passenger lounges and parking. Other features include a new Emiri (royal) Terminal complex for VIP flights with additional hardstands, cargo terminal buildings, aircraft hangars and associated airline and airport ancillary features. The complex will include an airport hotel and 100-room transit hotel.
Ten airlines are already flying in and out including Biman Bangladesh Airlines, flydubai, Air Arabia, Iran Air, Air India Express, Yemenia, Pakistan International Airlines, Syrian Airlines, Pegasus Airlines and Nepal Airlines.
The project has been plagued by construction challenges since 2009,  and its launch was delayed several times before it finally opened on April 30, 2014.