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Friday, October 30, 2020

Four more airlines to begin flying out of new Hamad Airport on May 22

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Hamad International Airport opening

Updated at 12:25 to include Akbar Al Baker’s comments on premium lounges at the new airport.

A handful of larger carriers will start operating out of Qatar’s new Hamad International Airport on May 22, according to an announcement posted in today’s newspapers.

Effective Thursday, Oman Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM will join 15 other airlines that have already begun flying in and out of the new airport.

The first 10 carriers shifted to HIA on April 30, during the long-awaited soft launch of the $15 billion airport. They are:

  • Air Arabia;
  • Air India Express;
  • Biman Bangladesh Airlines;
  • Flydubai;
  • Iran Air;
  • Nepal Airlines;
  • Pakistan International Airlines;
  • Pegasus Airlines;
  • Syrian Air; and
  • Yemenia

Five more airlines began operations last week:

  • Etihad Airways;
  • Royal Jordanian;
  • Sri Lankan Airlines;
  • Kuwait Airways; and
  • United Bangladesh

Hamad International Airport

Speaking to Doha News today, a Doha International Airport spokesman said that more airlines will likely be shifted over to the new airport before the full opening on May 27, when national carrier Qatar Airways is expected to make the move.

Business lounge status

However, the carrier’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, was quoted as saying the new premium passenger lounges will not open for another two months. Speaking to Business Traveller, he said:

“The first and business class lounges are not ready yet. It is such a complicated and high-end (operation) that the contractor is having difficulty keeping up with the kind of finishes we want.”

In the meantime, Al Baker added, business and first passengers “will be accommodated in lounges we already have and if we find the capacity is getting filled we have vouchers for them to use.”

Legal wrangling over the $245 million worth of construction contracts to build the airport’s lounges was one of several factors cited over the years for the delay in opening the new airport.

Al Baker also added in the interview that the facility’s multiple missed deadlines resulted in the airline losing out on $650 million in revenues annually.

Qatar Airways is being forced to move to the new airport, despite its unfinished premium lounges, to avoid delays to the deliveries of its new massive Airbus A380s, the airline’s CEO said.

Because many airlines and passengers have been given only a few days notice about these changes, some have complained of being confused about where to go.

For those wondering where their flights will be taking off from, a real-time schedule of departures is available on HIA’s website here. There is also a free shuttle service that runs between airports.

Thoughts?

14 COMMENTS

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DB
DB
6 years ago

How smooth has security, immigration, etc. been at the new airport? I was always impressed at how quickly I could get through at the old one; hope that hasn’t changed!

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago

Now that premium carriers are making the move, is there any update about lounges open for senior loyalty customers and business and first class passengers?

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

It sounds like perhaps the Oryx Silver/Gold lounges may be open in time, but it will be about 2 months before the dedicated Qatar Airways First Class and Business Class lounges are open for passenger use.

Mr Haydar
Mr Haydar
6 years ago

Any news on the completion date of F Ring Road?

Salman Alansari
Salman Alansari
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr Haydar

by the end of this year. if you trust ashghal deadlines

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

good progress

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago

By my reckoning there are only 10 gates open at the moment at HIA. That won’t be enough when QA moves over. Are they going to open gates to cope? There are already 40 at the current airport, and they are pretty much always used. Any one know anything?

HA
HA
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

There will be about 40 counters in 4 rows dedicated for QA. 2 additional rows for Premium passengers.

Big Biker
Big Biker
6 years ago

So no premium lounges for at least another two months, but we will get vouchers instead! This is not going to go down well with the premium customers. Another reason why this is the last time I am using Qatar Airways. What with this and their worsening services including customer service its hello Emirates.

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

Apparently there is an Oryx lounge available.

Andrew
Andrew
6 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

You’ll only get a voucher if the lounge is full, otherwise you’ll get a voucher. Whoop-dee-doo!

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

Can you get a beer with them? Will there be bars open, or just coffee shops?

Marilyn McLeroy
Marilyn McLeroy
6 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

I was wondering what they were going to do for premium customers too. I am flying KLM on Thursday. I guess there will be no place to go then?

David
David
6 years ago

I am sure the delivery and launch of the A380 on June 17th played a large factor in opening the airport before all of the lounges are finished, but I am thinking the IATA AGM from June 1-3 is the main reason the airport is fully opening May 27th.

Even though the airport is so far behind schedule and has missed several opening dates its only really been a story locally. It would have become much more of an international embarrassment had the 1,000 or so delegates and industry executives come to Doha for this meeting and had to use the old airport while the new multi-billion dollar airport sits empty a half mile away. I am sure Al Baker would much rather have these airline executives asking about and discussing what’s left to finish instead of asking why the new airport still isn’t open.

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