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Qatar Airways A320 Sharklet A7-AHX First Flight to arrive at Hamad Intl Airport at QR7450. NDIA.
Qatar Airways A320 Sharklet A7-AHX First Flight to arrive at Hamad Intl Airport at QR7450. NDIA.

Doha’s Hamad airport commences operations

Doha’s new Hamad International Airport (HIA) (also called NDIA – new Doha international airport) commenced soft-launch operations yesterday, when a special A320 flight QR7450 of national carrier Qatar Airways landed at the airport. The flight which greeted by the traditional water cannon salute by the airport’s ARFF team carried a team of dignitaries led by Qatar’s minister for transportation Mr. Jassim Al Sulaiti, NDIA Project Director, Mr. Bernardo Gognathe the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker.

Qatar Airways A320 Sharklet A7-AHX First Flight to arrive at Hamad Intl Airport gets traditional water cannon salute from the HIA ARFF team.
Qatar Airways A320 Sharklet A7-AHX First Flight to arrive at Hamad Intl Airport gets traditional water cannon salute from the HIA ARFF team.

Ten airlines are initially operating out of the new $17 billion facility; including Air India Express, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, flydubai, Air Arabia, Iran Air, Yemenia Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Syrian Air and Pegasus Airlines. All other carriers including Qatar Airways are due to switch their operations from May 27.

The airport will opening with an initial capacity of 30 million passengers. The passenger terminal is 600,000 sq. metres with three concourses and 33 contact gates. This will eventually be increased to five concourses and 65 contact gates, including eight for the A380. Once fully open, the terminal will have 16 lounges, 26 art installations, over 100 food and beverage, and retail outlets, a transit hotel, a swimming pool, a luxury spa, squash courts and a four-storey catering facility. A 500 worshipper public mosque is also built on the site.

HIA and Airport City (together comprising the NDIA project) spans 29 square kilometres, 60% on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf. The project includes 100 buildings of various uses.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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  • Xing Honey

    Great to see the Middle east aviation sector flourishing with healthy competition among the countries. They should eventually use more fifth freedom from EU to USA and India to Australia to sustain the same growth in the long tun.

    • Abhijeeth Vijay

      If you think that’s bad, they’ll be launching Bhuj on May 15th and don’t even sell tickets for THAT!