Full opening of HIA likely from May 27

 22 Apr 2014 - 3:38


DOHA: The Hamad International Airport (HIA) is expected to become fully operational from May 27.
Citing a statement issued by the Civil Aviation Authority yesterday Al Sharq reported that all airlines would move to the new airport by morning that day. 
Abdul Aziz Mohammad Al Noaimi, Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority, also said that instructions have already been given to all the administrative departments concerned to prepare for the transfer, said the daily.
The Authority had earlier announced a partial opening of the airport on April 30. The partial opening would see 10 budget airlines operating their flights as their passengers do not require premium and business terminals, said the daily, quoting informed sources. 
The source indicated that all the procedure will be followed in order to make transfer process smooth for all stakeholders.
In February, Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of 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.
Airlines expected to operate on soft launch 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.
The opening of HIA will be big boost for Qatar’s travel and tourism sector as it will lead to increase in air traffic.
Built at an estimated $15.5bn, 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 50 million 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. 
Opening of HIA is also good news for Qatar Airways as its first three A380s - which are due to arrive in June would be able to operate out of an airport with facilities designed to accommodate the double-decker aircraft.
The Peninsula