Qatar Airways has warned that a key contractor could face a "massive" compensation claim resulting from the delay to the opening of its purpose-built hub at the new Doha International Airport. The airline expects to move to the airport before the end of 2013, which is almost a year later than planned.
"We will move sometime in the second half of 2013," says Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker.
He says that almost all the facilities are ready for operation now and that the airport has already handled its first flights after being used for overspill during an international conference recently held in Doha.
"The only drawback is that we don't have any lounges in the terminal due to the fact that we have asked one of the contractors to demobilise because of their failure to meet their contractual milestones," he adds.
Although Al Baker declines to name the company, he warns that it will face "a massive compensation claim" from the airline and also from the Qatar government.
"When you delay the opening of an airport by nearly a year you can imagine the impact on the airline and the revenue of the state," he says.
The all-new airport has been built on reclaimed land adjacent to the existing airport at the Qatari capital. The facility will have a capacity of 24 million passengers a year when it opens, and will ultimately be able to handle 50 million passengers.