Hamad International Airport (HIA) has handled 529,436 tonnes of cargo during the first quarter of 2020, which signifies a 4.7 percent increase in the global hub’s cargo activity in comparison to the same quarter the previous year.
This increase in cargo 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. The country’s national carrier, 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, the equivalent of roughly 1,000 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters. Freight charters are being operated to multiple countries including China, India, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
Qatar Airways Cargo set a new record last week, operating 78 freighter flights and 69 freight-only passenger flights, a total of 147 dedicated cargo flights in a day to support countries with relief aid amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
In coordination with the Qatar Airways Group and international government entities, HIA continues to operate to ensure passengers reach home safely. HIA has also been fulfilling its national duty towards the people of Qatar by bringing home Qatari citizens from around the world.
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.
HIA is also looking forward to the completion of its multi-phased airport expansion plan which focuses on safety and sustainability. Phase A of the expansion will be completed before the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar to increase the airport's capacity to more than 53 million passengers annually 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 140,000 sqm terminal building located airside, will feature a 10,000 sqm indoor tropical garden, a 268 sqm water feature, 11,720 sqm of landscaped retail and F&B space and 9,000 sqm of a world-class Al Mourjan lounge. HIA is simultaneously accelerating its digital transformation as well, to become the ‘airport-of-the-future’.