After a series of delays, Qatar’s new state-of-the-art international airport is expected to begin passenger this month. A spokesman for the existing Doha International Airport (DIA) has confirmed the move but to date no official statement has been issued.
Described as a ‘soft opening’ 10 budget carriers have been issued the following notice from Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority.
“Kindly be advised with effect from 11am onwards on 30th April 2014 all your flights in Doha will be landing at the new Hamad International Airport.”
The carriers affected are: Air Arabia, Air India Express, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Fly Dubai, Iran Air, Nepal Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Syrian Airlines and Yemenia Yemen Airlines. With the IATA AGM set for Doha in early June (see in this issue) it is clear that the Qatari authorities will want to showcase the new operation at that time.
The new airport is built mainly on reclaimed land and takes aircraft away from Doha City. Work started in 2005 but rather like Berlin Brandenburg ever changing security, technical and construction regulations have caused one delay after another.