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Doha becomes busiest airport in Middle East

  • Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 3367
  • Top News
New research by travel analytics firm Forward Keys shows that Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is now the busiest airport in the Middle East. 
HIA has secured this position by safeguarding its airport experience with its adherence to COVID-19
policies and protocols, and introduction of technological solutions.
Forward Keys said Doha had “seized and consolidated a lead over Dubai airport”, with the volume of air tickets issued for travel via Doha 18 percent higher than it was through Dubai, for the period between January 1 and June 30, 2021.
The firm said the trend “looks set to continue”, with current bookings for the second half of the year through Doha being 17 per cent higher than through Dubai.
Forward Keys cited several reasons for the changes, including the lifting of a three and a half year blockade on Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the fact that “During the height of the Covid-19 crisis, many routes in and out of Doha remained operational”.
The firm said that the result of this was that Doha became a major hub for repatriation flights – most notably to Johannesburg and Montreal.
The research also showed that Doha has “substantially improved its position against Dubai and Abu Dhabi” in terms of market share. During the first half of 2021 hub traffic was divided 33 per cent Doha, 30 per cent Dubai and 9 per cent Aby Dhabi, compared to 21 per cent Doha, 44 per cent Dubai and 13 per cent Abu Dhabi for the first half of 2019.
Qatar Duty Free recently announced plans to open 21 new shopping and dining outlets at Doha’s Hamad International airport this year, as part of its 21st anniversary celebrations.