28.1 C
Doha
Monday, April 19, 2021

Overtaxed Doha airport sees 6mn passengers in first quarter 2014

-

Airport

Passenger numbers at the Doha International Airport (DIA) have continued to climb in recent weeks, but relief is in sight as the new Hamad International Airport prepares for a soft opening on Wednesday.

Figures issued by the DIA show an increase of 13.8 percent of the number of people arriving at, departing from and transiting through the airport in March 2014, compared with the same month last year.

The March figures also reflect a one percent growth of passenger numbers from February, which were up 12.45 percent from the same time last year.

The numbers represent the increasing pressure on the DIA to accommodate Qatar’s rapid growth as a regional aviation hub.

In total, more than six million passengers have already traveled through the airport in the first quarter of this year – with nearly 2.88 million flying through Doha in March alone. Of those, nearly 1.08 million people arrived at the airport, 1.06 departed from it and there were 737,000 transit passengers.

New airport opening

After a series of delays, Qatar’s new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport will begin passenger operations for 10 low-cost airlines on Wednesday, April 30.

The airport’s first commercial flight – expected to be a Fly Dubai service – is due to land at 11:15am on Wednesday.

Beyond the soft launch, a memo issued by the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority has also set a May 27 start date for all airlines – including Qatar Airways –  to begin flights from the new facility.

The $15.5 billion airport was supposed to be completed in 2009, and has missed several opening deadlines since then, including on Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12) and April 1, 2013, when the launch was scrapped an hour before a plane was set to land there.

The exact reason for the delays remains unclear, though last year, Civil Defense safety approvals were not met. More recently, officials have suggested that the airport’s premium facilities and lounges were awaiting completion.

Fate of DIA

In November, DIA executive vice-president Patrick Muller told Doha News that the overtaxed airport was nearing “the end of its lifespan.”

He added that once the HIA becomes operational, military aircraft and helicopters would continue to use the DIA for the foreseeable future.

However, he did not know what would happen to the passenger terminals once they are no longer in use. The terminals are owned by Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Are you looking forward to flying out of the new airport?

Thoughts?

7 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

Can not wait to see the teddy bear..lol

Rodd
Rodd
6 years ago

The worlds first Bearport

Jimjam
Jimjam
6 years ago

Is the new airport supposed to expand? I read it will have a capacity of 29 million on opening. The current airport is forecast at 24+ million per year going through it. At current rates of passenger growtj the new airport will be over capacity within 2-3 years.

Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimjam

Hello,

You’re right, the first phase of the new airport has a capacity of up to 30 million. However, phase “3a” (for which construction has already begun) will expand the airport’s capacity up to 50 million. It’s due to be completed by 2017.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

One of my friends told that it is just a soft opening which means there is lot more work to be finished. Still no information when the airport will be 100% complete. I think another 9 years…OMG!!!

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago

I sure will miss the bus rides out to the waiting airplanes and back! ;_(

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

I spent 60+ minutes in the queue for arrivals yesterday afternoon. More than 1/2 of the passport control desks were sitting empty. Some simple planning would help the chosen government employees do their jobs. This existing airport has been a joke for a long time. The new airport has been a punchline since 2009. I expect nothing from the new airport, but am hopeful it functions even a little bit so that I can leave for the summer.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.