Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar’s gateway to the world, has completed a year of operations and has served a total of 28 Million passengers from June 2014 to May 2015.
Detailing the second quarter of 2015, HIA saw 7.28 million passengers arriving, departing and transferring from April to June with 2,495,191 passengers in the month of April, 2,419,783 passengers in May and 2,367,230 passengers in June.
HIA seamlessly transitioned from its previous hub, Doha International Airport (DIA), to its current state-of-the-art facilities and full commercial operations of the airport began on May 27, 2014. This successful transition was a testimony to the intensive planning efforts by the airport management, Qatar Airways and all its subsidiaries, HIA has now matured into a globally-recognised airport.
The past year saw a total of 28,047,750 passengers arriving, departing and transferring through the airport; this represents a 23.6% year-on-year increase, having served 22.6 million passengers in its previous hub at Doha International Airport (DIA). The airport has also handled more than one million metric tonnes of cargo in total in its first year, demonstrating a 12% increase compared to the previous hub.
Along with the exponential growth of its passenger numbers and cargo, HIA now accommodates 36 airlines having efficiently handled 193,173 aircraft movements in the past year, which is 11.4% more than was handled per annum in the previous airport.
HIA is the hub of Qatar Airways – the world’s fastest growing airline – and the transition to this new location has facilitated even further growth of the airline, which now operates 157 aircraft to 146 destinations worldwide.
Within less than a year of commencing operations, HIA has won six Skytrax 2015 awards at the Skytrax Airport Award Ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2015 in Paris. These include the Best Airport in the Middle East award as well as the second position as the Best Airport in Performance and Services. HIA has also won the ‘Strategic Project of the Year’ award at the 2015 Global Projects of the Year awards ceremony organised by CG/LA Infrastructure.
HIA has also performed well in the surveys conducted by Airport Service Quality (ASQ) in the first quarter of 2015. This includes being ranked first in the Middle East for Cleanliness of Airport Terminal, Speedy Baggage Delivery and Comfort of Waiting Areas.
At the heart of Hamad International Airport is Qatar Duty Free (QDF), the airport’s award-winning shopping emporium with more than 40,000 square metres of combined retail and dining with more than 70 boutiques and 30 cafés and restaurants. QDF offers an unprecedented selection of designer labels, electronics, gourmet foods and much more. It also boasts an extensive portfolio of luxury brands and unique retail concepts, and is home to the largest perfume and cosmetics hall in any airport worldwide. HIA is also home to the Middle East’s first branch of Harrods.
Qatar Duty Free won three prestigious awards at the 2015 Duty Free News International Global Awards held in London. It won the coveted Global Travel Retailer of the Year award as well as the Airport Travel Retailer of the Year and Best New Shop Opening (since January 2014) for its Marmalade Market concept at HIA.
HIA’s cargo building is two stories high and covers 55,000 square metres of the facility. It is entirely self-contained, with 11 wide-body aircraft stands and 42 loading docks, and has the capacity to handle 1.4m tonnes per year. It is highly automated and contains dedicated facilities for special categories of cargo such as live animals, perishable goods or temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals.
HIA is the hub for Qatar Airways Cargo, which is the freight arm of Qatar Airways, and currently serves more than 45 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways Cargo has witnessed rapid growth over the past five years and has become the world’s fifth largest cargo carrier in January 2015 in international freight tonne kilometres. It also won the highly-acclaimed 2015 Global Cargo Airline of the Year award in February at the Air Cargo Africa Awards as voted for by readers of STAT Trade Times.
Commenting on the airport’s achievements in its first year, Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport, said: “We owe our accomplishments to our focus on customer satisfaction. We put the customer at the heart of everything we do. With this in mind, we have invested in a bespoke research programme to get to know our passengers and their needs. We not only offer passenger services, we offer an overall passenger experience.
“Talking about the future of the airport, Mr. Al Meer said: “Our future development strategy will focus on increased capacity and additional facilities. The development of our core aviation facilities is based on forecasts of passengers, aircraft growth figures and KPIs relating to service levels, which will all dictate our development plan. Additionally, we have created processes and management structures to manage and deliver our multi-million dollar future investment programmes strategically.”
We have now geared up to manage a much larger and more mature business, creating the capability to integrate several diverse service propositions in a manner which will lead to efficiency and an overall experience for our airport stakeholders and our passengers alike,” he concluded.