Doha Airport sees passengers increase 162% as it gears up for the World Cup
Hamad International Airport in Doha served 7.14 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022, a 162% increase in passenger traffic compared to last year.
The airport, preparing for a busy year with the FIFA World Cup on the horizon, noted a huge return in demand for leisure travel driving its resurgence and has overseen a strong recovery in the first three months of 2022 after serving over 7 million travelers.
Qatar’s principal airport served 2,163,086 passengers in January, 2,168,265 passengers in February and 2,812,874 passengers in March, amounting to 7,144,225 in total for Q1 2022.
These figures represent a 162% increase in passenger traffic compared to the same period in 2021.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, said,
“Recovery rose to more than one and a half times in the Jan-to-March 2022 period compared to the same period in 2021. The gradual easing of travel restrictions led to a noticeable recovery in demand for air travel mostly by leisure traffic.”
Over Q1 2022, HIA saw 48,680 aircraft movements, up by 30%. The airport also handled 585,448 tonnes of cargo and added two new cargo destinations to its network.
“Throughout 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact various travel markets, which affected our airport. However, with HIA’s continuous strategic planning, service excellence, and investments in the latest technological innovations, we have seen a steady return of passenger traffic growth. This has led to HIA being ranked the sixth busiest airport in the world for international passengers in 2021, according to Airports Council International,” he added.
The airport celebrated a 41% passenger boost in 2021 compared to its 2020 performance, serving over 17 million travelers over the year.
Pre-pandemic, the airport handled over 38 million travelers in 2019 and had projected up to 50 million travelers in 2020 before the industry downturn.
HIA’s resurgence was driven by its Far East market, which held the highest market share in this period at over 30%. Its Europe market came in a close second at over 25%.
The full market share breakdown is as follows:
Far East – 30.93%Europe – 25.20%
Middle East – 16.71%
Africa – 12.66 %
North America – 11.02 %
Australia – 2.23 %
South America – 1.22 %
Oceania and New Zealand at 0.01 %
Qatar is the host of this year’s FIFA World Cup, taking place in November and December with the event expected to attract over 1.5 million visitors to the country.