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IATA AGM 2014: Qatar Airways opens Hamad International Airport to the world

Qatar Airways has commenced flight operations from Hamad International Airport, a historic move that will enable passengers to enjoy a comprehensive Qatar Airways’ five-star experience at the world’s newest international gateway.

The move also means all commercial passenger airlines operating into Qatar will be arriving and departing from Hamad International Airport.

“The move of our entire operations to HIA is a momentous occasion for Qatar Airways, and one that we have been preparing for extensively for a long time,” said Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker.

“Our move to HIA heralds a new beginning for Qatar Airways, as we will now be based in a world-class hub that has been entirely designed to meet the needs and expectations of even the most discerning passengers.

The airport had been expected to open in 2009 but was beset by delays.

Al Baker continued: “With the capacity to handle 8,700 customers per hour, HIA will provide a seamless, hassle-free experience to our passengers, from check-in to passport control and boarding.

“Qatar Airways passengers will be thrilled to enjoy the comfort and functional design of the new airport, along with the exceptional shopping and dining choices it offers.”

The HIA Passenger Terminal Complex will house a total of 138 check-in counters across five islands, including 108 counters for Qatar Airways Economy passengers and all other airlines, 16 counters dedicated to Qatar Airways Business Class travellers and 14 luxury, bespoke, seated check-in counters for Qatar Airways First Class passengers.

All passengers are advised to arrive three hours before their flight, with check-in closing one hour before departure for Economy Class, and 45 minutes before departure for First and Business Class.

e-Gates are already operational in both the departures and arrivals areas, offering holders of an e-Gate Card an even swifter journey through the new airport.

Helpful HIA staff will also be readily available to assist at the numerous information desks and throughout the airport.

Hamad International Airport offers 40,000 square metres of combined retail, food and beverage facilities, establishing the airport as a premier shopping and dining destination.

With more than 70 retail outlets offering an unprecedented selection of designer labels, high street fashion, electronics, gourmet foods and much more, Qatar Duty Free at HIA will cater to passengers every taste.

In addition, more than 30 cafes and restaurants will offer a sumptuous selection of global and local cuisine.

The new airport is located on the East coast of the peninsula, just 16 km from the centre of Doha and 4 km from DIA.

Thanks to a sophisticated newly-built road infrastructure surrounding HIA, arrival time to the airport is around 25 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Qatar Airways passengers can travel to HIA via car, bus, taxi or limo services.