Some 10 airlines including budget carriers will start operating from the new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (HIA) from April 30, it is learnt.
The Doha stations of these carriers - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Iran Air, Air India Express, Yemenia Yemen Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Syrian Airlines and Pegasus Airlines - have received communication to the effect from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, sources said yesterday.
The communication read, “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 country head of one of the airlines that will move operations to HIA from April 30 confirmed to Gulf Times that he had received the communication from the Civil Aviation Authority.
A source said of the two flights Air India Express had scheduled for April 30, only one would operate from the Hamad International Airport.
The Air India Express morning flight to Mangalore would take off from Doha International Airport that day, whereas the airline’s flight to Kochi and Calicut later that day would operate from the Hamad International Airport.
Air India Express operates some 13 weekly flights to and from Doha to Mumbai, Mangalore, Kochi and Calicut.
The start of operations by the 10 airlines from HIA from April 30 would mark the “soft opening” of the $16bn ultra-modern Hamad International Airport.
Hamad International Airport is a key project in Qatar’s national development strategy and will significantly contribute to efforts at diversifying the economy away from oil and gas.
Gulf Times data indicate that the Hamad International Airport complex will cover an area of 28sq km. The terminal building will have a size of 600,000sq m.
It will have an initial capacity of 24mn passengers a year, more than doubling to around 50mn by the time it is fully operational beyond 2015.
The Hamad International Airport will incorporate some 80 contact gates, including 25,000sq m devoted to retail space, comfortable lounges, and multi-storey short-term and long-term parking facilities.
The airport has been designed in such a way that it will be able to hand superjumbos, including the Airbus A380s.
The HIA has two parallel runways, 2km apart, allowing for independent and simultaneous operations.
The 4,850m Eastern Runway is the longest commercial runway at sea level in the world. The Western Runway is 4,250m long. Both runways are 60m wide and capable of unrestricted A380 superjumbo operations.
Combining both “architectural panache and technologically advanced” systems, the 2,200-hectare airport site reclaimed half of its land from the Arabian Gulf.
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