Qatar Airways Goes Wi-Fi at Doha

Qatar Airways recently launched an innovative high-tech service for its passengers, providing them with wireless Internet access at Doha International Airport. The new service allows passengers the luxury browsing the Internet through personal laptops without connecting to a phone line.

The new free of charge service is available in both the First Class and Business class lounges, in addition to the Oryx lounge at Doha International Airport. This service is also available for economy passengers who are using Al Maha “Meet and Assist” services.

Wireless Internet access will enable passengers to connect directly to the Internet through laptops, which are equipped with wireless connections, or through using a wireless modem card available through Al Maha services, or the airport First and Business class lounges. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said “this service is part of our continuous effort to enhance our services provided to passengers traveling through Doha International Airport on board Qatar Airways and other airlines.

“This services is going to prove to be very useful for business travelers, and will help them in following up their affairs while waiting in the lounge. It might also provide a recreation for other travelers who want to browse the net.”

The new service to Doha International Airport coincides with the construction work which has started on the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), the first airport in the world to be designed and built specifically to accommodate the four-engined A380.

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The New Doha International Airport is scheduled to open in 2009 at a cost of US $2.5bn in the first phase and will initially be capable of handling 12 million passengers a year. Once fully developed in 2015 at a cost of US $5.5bn, the airport is expected to handle up to 50 million passengers a year. One of the project’s key features is that 40% of the site will be built on reclaimed land from the Arabian Gulf.

US engineering and construction giant Bechtel has been awarded the main contract to build the new airport, which will initially have a 26-gate passenger terminal complex, two runways of 4,850m and 4,250m in length, maintenance hangar, cargo centre and extensive shopping facilities. By 2015 when the airport will be fully operational, the new airport will have 80 aircraft gates.
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