80% More Business Class Seating Space at Qatar Airways Premium Terminal in Doha

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Wednesday, 6 May 2009

In order to meet the growing expansion plans of Qatar as well as the national airline - Qatar Airways, more than US$1 billion is being invested in infrastructure improvements at Doha International Airport while construction of the multi-billion New Doha International Airport continues.

Slated to open by 2012, the New Doha International Airport will initially be able to handle 24 million passengers annually, rising to 50 million when fully operational beyond 2015.

A a brand new transit terminal will soon open at the eastern apron featuring eight gates, snack centre and a duty free shop, operated by Qatar Duty Free, one of the airlines subsidiaries.

The transit facility will help process passengers arriving at the eastern apron with less than 60-minute flight connections. At present all passengers use the main terminal for arrivals, transfers and departures, which provides limited time for travellers who have tight connections.

Over the past two years, new aircraft parking bays have been created at the eastern apron, with a total of 16 now in operation. At the main apron, the number of parking bays has increased from 16 to 23.

A new drive-through side entrance to the Premium Terminal has already opened. Expansion of the first floor Business Class lounge will see the current seating capacity of 320 seats increase by 250 seats 80% together with more shower rooms, buffet and dining area.

Duty free space will be almost doubled to cater for a wider range of high-end premium products ranging from fragrances and cosmetics to electronics and clothing. The Premium Terminal is divided into two sections, one for First Class offering a seating capacity of 140 passengers, and one for Business Class travellers.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said US$1 billion was being invested in the airport infrastructure expansion, stressing it was necessary as the national airline was committed to its long-term passenger growth averaging 35% year on year.

Our expansion is growing at a remarkable pace, he said, adding, with new aircraft joining our fleet at an incredible rate of one a month for the foreseeable future, we need the airport infrastructure to be able to cope, hence the creation of a new transit terminal and more seating capacity at the Premium Terminal.

Qatar Airways currently carries more than 12 million passengers a year and with up to six new routes being launched over the next 10 months, including Goa and Amritsar in India; Sydney and Melbourne in Australia; and two further cities in Europe.

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