Hamad International Airport (HIA) has witnessed a 41.37 per cent increase in the number of passengers served in 2021 compared to 2020, with a total of 17.70 million passengers served.
HIA’s expansion, currently in Phase A, is set to increase its capacity to more than 58 million passengers annually by 2022 and Phase B, which will commence after the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, will increase HIA’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers.
Airport cargo operations increased by 20.71 per cent in 2021, with 2,589,283 tonnes of cargo handled in 2021 along with the introduction of six new cargo destinations.
Aircraft movement also grew by 28.12 per cent, with 169,909 total aircraft take-off and landing at HIA.
HIA currently serves a total of 156 destinations, with eight new passenger destinations and 1 new airline partner, namely RwandaAir, added to HIA’s network in 2021.
Dhaka, Male, Dubai, Kathmandu and London were among the busiest departing destinations from HIA in 2021.
The ongoing expansion enhances the multi-dimensional offerings of the five-star airport and allows passenger flow to seamlessly connect with the existing terminal. Passengers will be welcomed with an efficient airport experience, including a minimised travel distance for connections.
Clarity and intuitive wayfinding are additional features travellers will benefit from. HIA has further reduced the stress of travelling with the addition of a lush rainforest and garden as part of its expanded terminal.
Engr Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, commented: “While the global aviation industry witnessed another tumultuous year, HIA prevailed and continued to set new benchmarks and achievements; a reflection of the airport’s dedication to ensuring passenger and staff well-being. Qatar’s airport maintained stringent safety procedures to ensure a worry-free passenger experience, formed new partnerships to further HIA’s vision for sustainability and technological innovations, and expanded its lifestyle offerings for its passengers.”
Al Meer continued: “As the Official Airport Partner of the fast-approaching FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, HIA is looking forward to creating new passenger experiences at the airport, while keeping their safety and well-being at the core of our operations. Qatar’s airport realises the importance of the World Cup for incoming fans – many of whom fly across the world to witness the event. We are delighted to welcome them with the unparalleled experience they deserve.”
In 2021, HIA was recognised as the ‘Best Airport in the World 2021,” ranked number one by Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021. The airport’s excellent service and commitment to ensuring a memorable experience also helped HIA receive the “Best Airport in the Middle East” and “Best Airport 25 to 35 million Passengers” accolades. HIA’s consistency in remaining at the forefront of the industry, and in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, also led to the airport’s recognition as “Best Airport Staff in the Middle East”, and “Covid-19 Airport Excellence”.
Recently, HIA also invested in its green future through the introduction of sustainable measures at its Oryx Airport Hotel. The hotel has successfully replaced all its plastic water bottles with eco-friendly water containers, along with an extensive array of initiatives aimed at increasing the positive environmental impact of the airport.
Supplementing the passenger experience at HIA, Qatar Duty Free (QDF) has also led notable efforts in expanding its offerings at the World’s Best Airport. Qatar Duty Free has launched numerous new concepts, brand stores and food and beverage outlets including an Adidas store, an Apple shop and Hublot, the Swiss luxury watchmaking house, which officially launched its first travel retail boutique in the region.
QDF also revealed Viale Del Lusso, the luxury fashion avenue, that features Valentino’s first airport boutique in the Middle East, Emilio Pucci’s first stand-alone airport boutiques in the Middle East, Fendi and Jimmy Choo, as well as the first-ever Emporio Armani Ristorante and Emporio Armani Caffè in an airport globally.
QDF also observed a strong growth in revenue versus 2019, driven by more than 70% in uplifts from Sales-Per-Passenger (SPP) at HIA, which affirmed QDF’s extensive revamp and expansion of its shopping and dining portfolio during the reduced traffic periods during the pandemic.
Matar, the Qatar Company for Airports Operation and Management, has proactively created a consolidated airport operations plan to align and co-ordinate key stakeholder activities and empower them to elevate their readiness for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Matar and HIA are also preparing to handle the needs of different passenger groups expected for the mega event. Along with the main passenger terminal, HIA has a dedicated stand-alone terminal as the primary touchpoint to process the arrivals and departures of FIFA teams and delegates.
HIA has also introduced staff training to acclimatise HIA employees with essential airport plans and preparations for the World Cup and align all members to Qatar’s goal of delivering a successful mega tournament.
2021 undoubtedly saw HIA and Qatar Airways become influential entities reaffirmed by the international aviation industry and passengers alike. As the global travel industry continues to face the pandemic, it is evident that secure airport operations and safe passenger experiences are paramount to rebuilding confidence in air travel. HIA will continue to fortify its operations with leading expertise and collaborations to deliver a seamless and safe airport experience to its global passengers.
In 2022, HIA is once more a contender for the Skytrax “World’s Best Airport 2022” award and aims to retain its rank as the Best Airport in the World based on its unsurpassed airport operations and service excellence. The Skytrax World Airport Awards are based on customer nominations across global nationalities and airports. The survey assesses passenger satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport services and products – including check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, immigration, and departure. To maintain HIA’s leading position, passengers are encouraged to vote for HIA by visiting the Skytrax World Airport Survey website.-