Hamad International airport – until recently known as New Doha International airport – will finally open in April this year.
The US$15.5 billion facility has been dogged by a series of delays, and missed its most recent opening date of 12/12/12.
But a statement from Qatar Airways confirmed that on April 1 a total of 12 carriers will become the first passenger airlines to fly from the airport.
There will be a phased opening, meaning Doha will have a dual airport operation until full operations begin in the second half of this year, when Qatar Airways will move its entire operations over to Hamad International.
It’s not yet clear which airlines will move flights to the new airport on April 1, but a statement confirmed that the first phase would involve “12 international passenger airlines becoming the launch carriers of the new facility from 1 April. These include low-cost airlines”.
The airport will accommodate 28 million passengers when it fully opens this year, increasing to 50 million beyond 2015.
Commenting on the news Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar al Baker said that as the operator of the new Hamad International Airport and main user of the facility, the carrier “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.”
Report by Mark Caswell