Qatar's HIA passenger traffic up by 20% in a year
Hamad International Airport is seen increasingly as a sought after transport hub, with an increase in passenger traffic of 20% last year
Hamad International Airport sees passenger surge in 2016.
Officials have stated that Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) saw passenger traffic jump 20% in 2016, handling some 37.3 million passengers, which is a leap of 7.3 million from the previous year, Doha News reported.
This is despite the airport’s capacity to only handle around 30 million passengers. Nevertheless, last year, officials focused on increasing numbers with the addition of Concourses D and E.
This expansion added eight contact gates and 130,000m² of additional space, HIA said in a statement this week.
The recent surge is partly attributed to the operator Qatar Airways’ fast growth, which included 14 additional destinations last year.
The ongoing increase in numbers has prompted extensive expansion plans to the facility to handle some 50 million passengers a year, with 2020 set as the delivery date for the expansion.
However, despite the launch of free automated e-gate services for residents, passengers remain dissatisfied with long lines at immigration.
Also this week, HIA announced that it will now operate as an independent entity under the Qatar Airways Group whereas previously, it was operated by Qatar’s national carrier.
Qatar Airways group CEO Akbar Al Baker commented during a press conference in New Zealand, that the new entity could also buy stakes in other international airports if they were seen to be sound investments.
He was in New Zealand to introduce the launch of the world’s longest flight by duration, a 17+ hour route from Auckland to Doha.