Qatar’s Gateway Hamad International Airport (HIA) has served a record number of passengers in 2019, which is the most number of passengers it has served since the start of its operations in 2014, making 2019 HIA’s most successful year yet.
HIA has served a record 38,786,422 passengers in 2019; representing year-on-year growth of 12.44% compared to passenger numbers in 2018.
Eight new passenger destinations were added to HIA’s global network in 2019 which were Davao- Philippines, Rabat- Morocco, Izmir-Turkey, Gaborone- Botswana, Langkawi- Malaysia, Mogadishu- Somalia, Malta, and Lisbon- Portugal. Three new cargo destinations were also added to HIA’s network: Istanbul, New York, and Almaty.
Fifteen airlines operating at HIA increased their weekly flight frequencies including Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Philippine Airlines, Oman Air and Air India Express. HIA also welcomed two new airline partners, namely, Air India and Tarco Aviation. This lead to HIA handling a total of 232,917 aircraft movements in 2019, which is 5.57% more than the previous year.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport stated: “2019 has been a spectacular year for HIA, having broken our record for the most number of passengers ever served since commencing our operations. It was also an exciting year for the airport as the gateway to some of the world’s biggest sporting events including the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 and the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 which were successfully hosted by the State of Qatar. Looking ahead, we’re focused on increasing our operational capacity through our major airport expansion project which is a vital part of the airport’s rapid growth and the country’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup and beyond.”
HIA announced its multi-phased airport expansion plan in 2019. Phase A of the expansion is set to comprise of a central concourse linking concourses D and E and will increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually by 2022. Phase B, which will be completed after 2022, will extend concourses D and E to further enhance the airport’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers annually. The expansion project will also 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 world-class Al Mourjan lounge.
HIA also introduced innovative solutions in 2019 to achieve operational excellence and enhanced passenger experience in the terminal. The airport implemented advanced software solutions for passenger forecasting and queue measurement which provides real-time passenger traffic forecasting as well as calculating waiting times and throughputs which are visualized on a live dashboard, allowing the airport to keep waiting times in check. The software has enabled the operational staff to be proactive and stay agile in the terminal’s dynamic environment.
Along with HIA’s self-check-in and self-bag-drop kiosks, which was introduced in the terminal to provide passengers with a faster and smoother check-in process, HIA recently introduced ten automated security gates at the pre-immigration area, so passengers can scan their own boarding cards and proceed to immigration, providing passengers with a truly autonomous travel experience.
HIA was voted as the “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the third consecutive year in 2019 at the 16th Annual Global Traveler’s GT Tested Reader Survey Awards in Los Angeles, recognizing it for its outstanding performance in providing an exceptional experience to travelers. It received the “Best Passenger Experience Initiative” silver award at the Future Travel Experience (FTE) Asia Awards 2019 in Singapore in November 2019 in recognition for the second phase of its Smart Airport Program. It was also named the “Best Airport for Passenger Experience” for the second consecutive year in a study by AirHelp, the world’s leading air passenger rights specialist.
HIA is currently a candidate for the “Best Airport in the World” award by Skytrax which also classified it as a five-star airport in 2017, making it one among only five other airports in the world and the only one in the Middle East to achieve this prestigious status. Currently holding the “Fourth-Best Airport in the World” and the “Best Airport in the Middle East” titles, HIA continuously works to improve all aspects of the passenger experience. The results of the Skytrax World Airport Awards will be announced in March 2020.