Hamad Int’l Airport to launch passenger operations on April 30…

Qatar’s new Hamad International Airport will reportedly begin passenger operations on April 30, after a number of delays.

A spokesman for the existing Doha International Airport confirmed the date, according to a local news source which added that budget carriers are likely to be the first to operate out of the new facility.

A circular issued to 10 airlines by Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority read: “Kindly be advised with effect from 30th April 2014 all your flights in Doha will be landing at the new Hamad International Airport.” No official statement has been issued by Qatar authorities though.

The $15.5bn planned hub for Qatar Airways has missed a series of launch dates, including the end of 2012, April 1 2013 and the end of last year.

Due to increased transit growth in Qatar and the region in the past few years, modifications were necessary to deliver an airport with a capacity of 30 million on opening day. HIA and Airport City span a total of 29 sq km, 60 percent on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf.

More than 1,000 architects, designers, engineering consultants, and project managers worked on the project, through more than 200 local, regional and international contractors and service contracts.

In its opening configuration, the terminal has three concourses and 33 contact gates, increasing to five concourses and 65 contact gates, including eight for the A380 in the final build-out.

The terminal also includes 16 lounges, 28 art installations, more than 100 F&B and retail outlets, a transit hotel, swimming pool, luxury spa and squash courts. An on-site public mosque will be able to accommodate 500 worshippers.