Doha’s Hamad International Celebrates a 41% Passenger Boost In 2021

Hamad International Airport (HIA) today shared that the number of passengers it handled in 2021 41.37% greater than its figure in 2020. The Doha, Qatar passenger hub served a total of 17,702,635 passengers during the year.

Qatar Airways Doha hub
Qatar Airways’ aircraft have been lining up to serve far more passengers than they did in 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

High hopes

This April will mark just eight years since HIA first opened. The hub for Qatar Airways was made the sole international airport for Qatar, positioned just south of the capital of Doha.

The airport saw passenger numbers increase considerably in the years that followed, marked by a record of over 38.8 million passengers arriving during 2019. The airport anticipated that over 50 million passengers will be served in 2020. However, the global health crisis would rock plans. As a result, passenger activity at HIA was minimal during 2020, with repatriation efforts making up the most of the notable activity at the airport in the passenger realm.

Hamad International Airport
HIA aircraft movement also rose, with the airport reporting an increase of 28.12%, totaling 169,909 take-off and landings. Photo: Sumit Singh | Simple Flying

Back on track

Nonetheless, the relaxing of restrictions around the world in 2021 allowed for more favorable conditions for passengers to pass through the hub during the year. In total, 156 destinations are on HIA’s network, with eight new passenger destinations introduced. A new airline partner has also helped get things in the right direction, with Rwandair joining the fold.

It’s not only passenger services that have grown, shipping operations have also been rising. Cargo services increased by 20.71% year on year. Overall, 2,589,283 tonnes of cargo were handled at HIA throughout 2021. This boost is marked by the launch of six new cargo destinations from the site.

“While the global aviation industry witnessed another tumultuous year, HIA prevailed and continued to set new benchmarks and achievements; a reflection of the airport’s dedication to ensuring passenger and staff well-being. Qatar’s airport maintained stringent safety procedures to ensure a worry-free passenger experience, formed new partnerships to further HIA’s vision for sustainability and technological innovations, and expanded its lifestyle offerings for its passengers,” HIA COO Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer shared in a company statement.

“As the Official Airport Partner of the fast-approaching FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, HIA is looking forward to creating new passenger experiences at the airport, while keeping their safety and well-being at the core of our operations. Qatar’s airport realises the importance of the World Cup for incoming fans – many of whom fly across the world to witness the event. We are delighted to welcome them with the unparalleled experience they deserve”.

Airbus, A350, Qatar Airways
Even though there is a long way to go, several regions reported better passenger figures than 2020’s numbers. Photo: Getty Images

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Keeping busy

Hamad International’s regrowth has been helped by Qatar Airways’ flight missions. The flag carrier of Qatar has been determined to increase its activity following the downturn. Moreover, it launched several new flights, including Odesa and Almaty. It has also returned to important markets such as Sofia recently.

The airline prides itself on its partnerships, which has helped it become busier amid the likes of new alliances with Alaska Airlines helping with recent launches to destinations such as San Francisco and Seattle.

HIA prides itself on the biosafety initiatives in place across the airport to help passengers on their journey during this tough time. So, it will be glad to see passenger numbers heading in the right direction.

What are your thoughts about HIA’s passenger numbers for 2021? What do you make on the improvement from 2020? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.