Soft-launch of new airport on April 30

 11 Apr 2014 - 4:19

A file picture of Hamad International Airport.

DOHA: The Hamad International Airport (HIA) will be partially thrown open to passengers on April 30. 
At least 10 airlines are expected to operate from the new airport from the opening day. 
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has sent a circular to the country heads of airline companies, Al Sharq reports.
Budget carriers are likely to be the first to operate out of the new facility. 
Airlines expected to operate from the new airport include Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Iran Air, Air India Express, Yemenia Yemen Airlines, Pakistan International Airline, Nepal Airline, Syrian Airline and Pegasus Airline. 
Local media is yet to receive a formal confirmation from authorities regarding the soft-opening.
However, CAA has posted a report on the soft-launch of the new airport on its website.
The Dubai-based flydubai will reportedly move its nine daily flight operations from the main terminal at Doha International Airport to HIA from April 30. 
Built at an estimated $15.5bn, Qatar’s iconic HIA will have the capacity to handle 28 million passengers per year in the initial stage. Once fully operational, HIA will have the capacity to handle 50m passengers per year.
The new airport covers a 300,000sqft retail gallery, a 23,000sqft mosque, two 100-room, five-star transfer hotels, a health spa, a 3,431-car parking garage and a 742,000sqft flight catering facility. 
Phase 1 and 2 concourses include 41 contact gates and 20 remote-stand gates.
The airport was originally scheduled to open in 2012, and has missed several opening deadlines since then, including April 1, 2013. 
In February, Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Airways, said HIA would open to travellers by the second quarter of this year, and that low-cost airliners would be the first to move to the new facility.
The Peninsula