The State of Qatar is ready to welcome a new chapter in the country’s remarkable aviation industry with preparations well underway for the April 1 first phase opening of the new Hamad International Airport to be operated by national carrier Qatar Airways.
Details of the soft launch opening were unveiled to an audience of more than 100 airport officials and airline executives in Doha today at an event jointly organised by Qatar Airways, the Hamad International Airport’s Operational Readiness and Airport Transition (ORAT) team and Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA).
QCAA Chairman H. E. Abdul Aziz Al Noiami, spelled out the plans for the airport’s readiness, in which Qatar Airways will play a pivotal role.
The first phase of the US$15.5 billion project involves 12 international passenger airlines becoming the launch carriers of the new facility from April 1. These include low-cost airlines.
Qatar Airways will move its entire operations to Hamad International Airport in the second half of the year. Until recently, the airport was known under the project working name New Doha International Airport (NDIA).
Qatar Airways will work closely with the first movers to ensure a smooth transition of flights from the current Doha International Airport.
With the phased approach, Doha will have a dual airport operation until full operations begin at Hamad International in the second half of 2013.
From March, freight forwarders and agents in Qatar will process import and export consignments at Hamad International Airport. Cargo uplift and arrivals will remain at Doha International Airport from where shipments will be transported by road to the new facility.
Cargo flights operated by Qatar Airways and other freighter companies are expected to begin to and from Hamad International from the summer.Hamad International Airport will accommodate 28 million passengers annually when it opens this year, increasing to 50 million beyond 2015.