Qatar Airways sets date for switch to new Doha hub

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Qatar Airways has confirmed 27 May as the date for its move to Doha’s new Hamad International airport.

This is in line with a prediction the airline’s chief Akbar Al Baker made in March when he said the new gateway would be fully up and running before the Qatari capital hosts this year’s IATA annual general meeting, which kicks off on 1 June.

After a “soft opening” on 30 April, 10 airlines are already operating at the airport: Air Arabia, Air India Express, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Flydubai, Iran Air, Nepal Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines and Yemenia.

Located 4km from Doha International, where Qatar Airways is currently based, the new airport was built on land of which 60% was reclaimed from the sea. It will offer an annual capacity of 50 million passengers once concourses D and E join A, B and C in operation.

Qatar Airways, which is to operate the airport, says “high-end retail and food and beverage outlets” plus “activity nodes, which include computers with internet access, children’s play and rest areas” will feature within the 600,000m2 terminal complex.

The airport’s 138 check-in counters include 14 seated ones for Qatar Airways’ first-class passengers and 16 for the carrier’s business-class travellers. The other 108 are for those in economy class or flying with other airlines.

The number of contact gates will increase from 41 to 65 with the addition of the new concourses. Six of the gates will be fully dedicated to the Airbus A380.

Qatar Airways has 10 A380s on order and holds three options on the type, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows. The carrier is to receive its first A380 in early June.

This article was amended to clarify that capacity will reach 50 million passengers per annum with the addition of concourse D and E; the initial capacity is 30 million