Qatar confirms plans to open long-delayed airport

23 April 2014

Hamad International to be fully open to all carriers by May

Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that Hamad International Airport will be fully operational for all airlines by late May.

On 21 April, the authority issued a circular to 18 commercial airlines, including national carrier Qatar Airways, directing them to shift their operations to Hamad International starting from 27 May at 9:00am.

The circular was also sent to 10 low-cost carriers, advising them to begin operations at the airport on 30 April.

The document added that from 27 May, all airlines working within Doha’s airspace will be required to shift their operations to the new airport.  

The opening of the $17.5bn airport, previously known as New Doha International, has been met with significant delays, after initially aiming for a 2008 launch.

An ongoing legal battle with German/UAE joint venture firm Lindner Depa Interiors contributed to the delays. The company issued a lawsuit against the airport in September 2013, after its contract for the construction of 19 lounges was pulled.

The new airport marks one of Qatar’s first megaprojectsas the country ramps up its infrastructure capacity. The country’s grand ambitions are estimated to lead to $165bn in project spending over the next four years.

The new airport will initially cater to 30 million passengers a year, a 30.4 per cent increase on Doha International’s capacity of 23 million.

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