Hamad International Airport (HIA) handled 529,436 tonnes of cargo during the first quarter of 2020 – a 4.7% year-on-year increase in its cargo activity. The airport handled 176,279 tonnes in January, 173,248 tonnes in February, and 179,909 tonnes in March.
This increase is partly attributed to Qatar Airways’ and HIA’s continued efforts to provide freighter services in response to the increased demand for essential goods and medical supplies, locally and internationally. Qatar Airways continues to support worldwide connectivity, re-establishment of the global supply chain, and meeting the market’s demand for freight exports and imports through Qatar Airways Cargo, its freight division. This includes the transportation of urgent medical relief aid and humanitarian assistance, which is pivotal to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline continues to operate a significant cargo schedule with approximately 175 freighter and belly-hold passenger flights per day. During the past month the cargo operator has worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 100,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter services. Freight charters are being operated to countries including China, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, UK, US, and Australia.
To ensure the well-being of passengers, HIA, in cooperation with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), MATAR Management and Qatar Airways, is also conducting entry screening of all arriving passengers and crew terminating at Doha on 24/7 basis. All terminating passengers (Qatari nationals) are being quarantined for 14 days as per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines. HIA is also fully equipped with epidemiological surveillance cameras across the terminal and an established medical clinic at the airport, operated by MoPH on a 24/7 basis.
Multi-phased airport expansion plan
HIA is also looking forward to completion of its multi-phased airport expansion plan, which focuses on safety and sustainability. Phase A will be completed before the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar to increase the airport’s capacity to more than 53 million passengers by 2022. Phase B, which will be completed after 2022, will further increase the airport’s capacity to more than 60 million passengers per year.
The 140,000sqm terminal building located airside will feature a 10,000sqm indoor tropical garden, a 268sqm water feature, 11,720sqm of landscaped retail and F&B space, and a 9,000sqm Al Mourjan lounge. HIA is simultaneously accelerating its digital transformation, aiming to become the ‘airport of the future’.