The New Doha International Airport is in the news again, this time though for nothing more worrying than a change of name.
Previously unimaginatively christened to distinguish it from the old Doha Airport, it will now follow the majority of airports in the Middle East in being named after a country’s current or former ruler. In this case, it’s the current Emir of Qatar; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, giving the airport the name of Hamad International Airport.
Late last month the airport missed the latest deadline for opening and has now realistically set the opening date as during the second half of 2013. At the same time the airport’s operators; Qatar Airways, said it had launched a $600m lawsuit against German-Emirati construction company LDI blaming it for the ongoing delays that have seen deadline after deadline for opening missed.
They cite the failure of LDI to complete the fitting out of nineteen lounges at the airport as the reason for the airport’s delayed opening, something LDI refute. The value of the lawsuit is said to represent the loss of earnings caused by the delay. Although work on the lounges is nearly complete, the delay is now said to be because of the ongoing court case.
It was only at the beginning of December 2012 that the CEO of Qatar Airways categorically said that the airport would not suffer the same embarrassing delays that Berlin’s Brandenburg Airport
is suffering meaning that Brandenburg is unlikely to open before 2014. At the moment it’s looking like Hamad may yet follow Brandenburg despite all the positive hype over the airport and its possibilities.
With many new routes planned to be introduced during the first half of the year, Qatar Airways stand to be the biggest losers in the melee, justifying their ire directed at LDI. For now the magnificent building, on one of the world’s biggest airport sites, is a forlorn spectacle. Expected to be a shiny new building when flights commenced it’s now looking like the building will be at least a year old before passengers walk through its concourses.
Until Hamad Airport is operational, you can still rent a car at Doha International Airport
with Rhino and as soon as the first passenger flight does touch down, we will offer the best deals on car hire Hamad Airport