Qatar Airways has opened the world’s only dedicated first and business class terminal at Doha International Airport. The new $90 million Premium Terminal opened recently to mark the start of the 15th Asian Games.Built in nine months, the 100,000 square foot (10,000sq m) facility is part of a $200 million expansion plan at the airport and can handle around 800 passengers an hour.
It is the world’s first terminal to offer spa treatment rooms with Jacuzzis and saunas to passengers. More than 150 specially-trained staff from the global hospitality industry have been recruited to work in the new facility.
The terminal is only open to Qatar Airways’ premium passengers and features immigration e-gates and self-service check-in kiosks, duty-free shopping, nursery and play areas.
Business travelers also have free access to a conference room with audio-visual facilities and meeting rooms together with secretarial services. There are also computers with free Internet access.
“We lacked a facility offering world-class services to our premium passengers. As the number of passengers in our business and first class increases with the arrival of new and larger carriers, we want to offer them the best available services,” Akbar Al-Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways as well as the Doha International Airport told the media.
The new terminal will ease pressure on the existing airport terminal, which is showing a significant rise in passenger numbers. Passenger loads for Qatar Airways alone have seen a rise from 3.3 million in 2003 to over 6 million this year.
Doha Asian Games
Qatar Airways has signed a $10 million sponsorship agreement with the Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee (DAGOC) last year as the Official Airline and Prestige Partner of the Games.
The airline has already embarked on a global television and print campaign focusing on its partnership with the Asian Games and has painted seven of its long-haul Airbus A330 aircraft in the Games color schemes.
“I am extremely pleased that Qatar Airways is backing such a high-profile event, which hundreds of millions of people from across the Asian continent and around the world will be able to watch live on television,” said Al Baker.
This year, Qatar Airways won the following accolades at this year’s World Travel Awards: Middle East’s Leading Airline, Middle East’s Leading Business Class Airline, World Leading Airline Inflight Meal Service, World’s Leading Business Class Airline.