New Doha mega airport set to open on April 01

QATAR TO OPEN NEW HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN DOHA ON APRIL 01

A regular source from Qatar Airways has confirmed that the new mega airport, due to be named on opening as Hamad International Airport Doha, will open its doors on Easter Monday, 01st April this year.

The planned soft opening was announced this afternoon during a press conference in Doha, and as many as 12 airlines flying presently to Qatar will be part of the initial move alongside national airline Qatar Airways, which will also manage the airport overall. Initially both the existing and the new airport will operate in parallel until later in 2013, when all operations will have moved to the new facility and the ‘old’ airport will be closed.

Construction for the new airport started in 2005 but the initially expected opening in mid 2012 had to be postponed several times, with a major legal battle now unfolding over contractors allegedly delaying completion through slow work pace.

The new airport has been custom designed to serve as Qatar Airway’s new home hub, able to cater for a number of Airbus A380 which the world’s only 5 star airline will receive in due course and new state of the art facilities for passengers will undoubtedly soon be ranked amongst the world’s best.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker had this to say today: ‘2013 is an historic year for the State of Qatar, Qatar Airways and the country’s young aviation industry. Qatar Airways, as the operator of the new Hamad International Airport and main user of the facility, looks forward to welcoming airlines and passengers to the airport in just a few weeks’ time opening up a new era for our country. This will be a world class facility that promises to propel our nation further on the international stage. Of course the story doesn’t end here. Later this year, Qatar Airways will move its entire operations to Hamad International Airport, as all airport lounges are expected to be ready and fully operational by then ensuring that all our passengers have a truly world class experience that they fully deserve. These are exciting times for our aviation industry and the people of Qatar, so let us relish the moment’.

Hamad International Airport will accommodate 28 million passengers annually when it opens this year, increasing to 50 million beyond 2015.

One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 118 aircraft to 123 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas with the aggressive expansion continuing well into 2013.

Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22) with many more new start-ups planned.

Watch this space for breaking and regular news updates from East Africa, the Indian Ocean islands and events beyond with a special bearing on the East African aviation market.

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