The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) is expected to officially open in December, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker revealed during the Arabian Travel Market.
The new airport, which is now estimated to cost $15.5 billion, is being constructed four kilometres from the existing facility on a 5,400-acre site. It will replace Doha International Airport as Qatar’s only international airport.
The NDIA is the result of expected demand for additional international passenger capacity to the region in coming years.
The current airport handles 4.2 million passengers a year, while the new airport will be able to handle 12.5 million a year after the first phase of construction.
After phase one is opened, passenger capacity at the airport will be 24 million people a year.
Al Baker revealed it Qatar Airways would not start operating from the new airport straight away.
“While the new airport will officially open on 12-12-12, it may not be this year that we will start operating,” he said.
It was also revealed that the anticipated cost of the final phase of the expansion of NDIA – which should be completed by 2015, increasing passenger capacity to 50 million.
“There will be another expansion to go to the ultimate stage by which we will add another $2 billion to it,” Al Baker added.