Hamad International Airport (HIA) will commence passenger services at the end of this month, with budget carriers set to be the first patrons of the new facility.
A spokesman for the existing Doha International Airport (DIA) confirmed that the airport would finally begin operations on 30 April after years of costly delays.
Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority sent out a circular via Facebook to ten airlines on Friday, which read; “Kindly be advised with effect from 11am onwards on 30th April 2014 all your flights in Doha will be landing at the new Hamad International Airport.”
The effected airlines include: BimanBangladesh Airlines, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, Iran Air, Air India Express, YemeniaYemen Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Syrian Airlines, Pegasus Airlines. Meanwhile, national carrier Qatar Airways is due to move into the new airport once all the lounges and duty-free shops are completed.
Cargo services at HIA began on 1 December 2013, with an inaugural flight by Qatar Airways Cargo arriving from Europe.
HIA was originally slated to replace the old DIA as Qatar’s main hub in 2009. The USD15.5bn project is now near completion and will open 5km away from Doha International with a capacity of 28m passengers per year. This will rise to 50m passengers a year when the facility is fully operational.
Passenger amenities include a large retail gallery, a mosque, two five-star hotels with 100 rooms each, a health spa, and parking for 3,431 cars. There is also a large flight catering facility for airlines.