Posted on January 23, 2019

Hamad International Airport (HIA) witnessed remarkable achievements in 2018, with the five-star airport successfully completing the first phase of its Smart Airport Program, launching phase two of its expansion plan, and receiving numerous international awards and industry achievements that continue to shape the airport as a leader in the aviation industry. Experiencing steady year-on-year passenger growth, with 8.1 million passengers just in the last quarter of 2018 and a projected increase of 20% in passenger traffic this year, the airport continues to deliver on its vision of becoming the ‘airport of the future’.

On-Time Performance Ranking from OAG

HIA ranked as the 2nd best airport in the world for On-Time Performance (OTP) in OAG’s Punctuality League report. According to OAG, the leading global provider of digital flight information, Qatar's state-of-the-art airport ranked 2nd in the major airports category (from 20 to 30 million departing seats per annum) with 85.41% of its flights operating on time. The Punctuality League is based on 58 million flight records using full-year data from 2017 to create a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world's largest airlines and airports.  HIA newly joined the top 20 airports in the ‘Major Airports’ category within the Punctuality League this year, which is recognized as the world's definitive measurement of on-time performance.

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, stated: “This has been a highly rewarding and successful year for the airport as witnessed by our year-end results and multiple awards and accolades, including recognition from OAG’s punctuality league for OTP. We are honoured by this distinguished ranking, among other awards and accolades, that acknowledge Hamad International Airport's success in providing passengers with seamless, hassle-free travel and an unparalleled passenger experience.”

Mr. Al Meer further stated: “2019 will be a continuation of success and key developments for the airport, as phase two of our multi-story expansion plan begins. As we deliver a world-class airport experience, our continued investments in infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, and front-line processing solutions will continue to shape HIA as a leading aviation-hub and position us to set new standards and records across the industry.” Amidst the projected increase in passenger traffic this year, HIA remains ahead of the curve and accomplished an industry-leading transfer security screening which resulted in significantly shorter queuing times at security points by introducing more services for transferring passengers. This has ensured that at least 95% of the airport’s transfer passengers queue for under five minutes.

Launching Phase Two of Expansion Plan

Phase Two of the HIA’s expansion plan marks a key development in the airport’s growth and in Qatar’s Transportation and Communications sector. The expansion will enable HIA to accommodate over 53 million passengers annually by 2022.

In addition to the immediate benefits of increased space and capacities, the construction of the Airport City will also provide significant future investment opportunities including a free trade zone, office and business complex, and hotels. A new cargo terminal will also be constructed, increasing the HIA’s capacity to 3 million tonnes per year and accommodating the expected surge in freight traffic. The developments in infrastructure play a key role in Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where the country will witness a spike in tourists and visitors to experience the global sporting event.


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Steady Growth in Passengers and Aircraft Movements

HIA’s 2018 fourth quarter results saw the airport welcome a total of 8.1 million passengers, a 5.6% passenger increment compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. HIA further handled 57,831 in aircraft movements, achieving an increase of 14.3%, as well as handling 570,337 tonnes of cargo, attaining an increase of 8.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. In 2018 the airport served a total of 34.5 million passengers and handled a total of 2,163,544 tonnes of cargo with an 8.4% increment in comparison to 2017. HIA has contributed its efforts to a successful year by investing in facilities, services, staff and the newest technologies to provide a world-class passenger experience to its travellers.

First Major Phase of Innovative Smart Airport Program Completed

With its continued efforts and investment in cutting-edge technology through its Smart Airport program, HIA announced the successful completion of the first major phase of its Smart Airport program in 2018, which will enable the 5-star home carrier Qatar Airways to process more than 25% of its passengers using self-service check-in and bag-drop facilities. The airport in partnership with SITA and CCM, commissioned 62 next-generation self-service check-in kiosks and 12 self-service bag drops including future biometric technology capability. The kiosks are spread across the departures check-in hall and enable passengers to check-in, print boarding passes and bag tags; tag their bags; and drop them at the bag drop before proceeding to border control. A mobile Automated Visa Document Check, which is the first of its kind in any major airport worldwide has also been implemented which enables ground services agents to check a passenger’s visa documentation before continuing their journey.

Rising in Rank with International Awards and Achievements

HIA has been honoured with numerous awards and accolades this year, receiving ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the fourth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the third year in a row by the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The awards recognize HIA’s innovative facilities, five-star customer service and state-of-the-art terminal which offers passengers both a convenient and leisurely airport experience. Skytrax has also recognized HIA’s best-in-class service by presenting it with the ‘five-star’ airport status, classifying HIA as the only airport in the Middle East with this prestigious status.

HIA continued the year with further achievements and was awarded the ‘Best Customer Experience’ Initiative Award at the Future Travel Experience (FTE) Asia Awards 2018. The award recognizes the airports success in merging its state-of-the-art facilities, hospitable culture, and love for football by delivering a month-long FIFA™ World Cup celebration during 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. The state-of the-art airport was also voted as the “Best Airport for Layovers” at the Global Traveler’s (GT) Leisure Lifestyle Awards, and as the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ 2018 at the Global Traveler’s GT Tested Reader Survey Awards in Los Angeles for the second consecutive year.

HIA is currently a candidate for the “Best Airport in the World” award by Skytrax 2019. Passengers who have experienced HIA’s award-winning services and facilities can visit Skytrax’s World Airport Survey website and vote for the airport based on categories including Terminal Comfort, Food and Beverage, Airport Shopping and Customer Assistance. Voting results will be announced in March 2019. The Skytrax World Airport Awards are based on 12.85 million customer nominations across 110 nationalities of air travellers and include 410 airports worldwide. The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product - from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through to departure at the gate. Passengers can vote for HIA by visiting the Official Skytrax World Airport Survey website at