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Record number of flights and creative activations open Qatar’s gates to the 2022 FIFA World Cup

The Hamad International Airport (HIA) became a key hub for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, bolstering the legacy of the competition by creating a smooth operation amid a constant improvement of the number of air traffic movements. With a huge surge in visitors in Qatar during the competition, with an estimated 79% of them coming by air, HIA’s important could not be understated.

Designed in 2003, its expansion increased the capacity to 58 million passengers per year, essentially doubling the number of passengers and its capacity since the inauguration.

And it proved to be a huge success, with a record number of airplanes coming and going, with passengers being processed during the first two weeks of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the mega sporting event hosted by Qatar between 20 November and 18 December.

A total of 12,963 air traffic movements were recorded until the end of second week of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, with the largest surge coming during the first week of the competition, when fans from all over the 32 participating countries came to see their favourites in action.

“The measures in place such as modernisation of air space sector, increment of air paths for arrival and departure flights, advanced devices and well-trained staff helped ensure a smooth operation of air traffic flow, enabling flights to land and take off without any delay from Hamad International Airport and Doha Airport,” said Ahmed Al Eshaq, the Director of Air Navigation Department at the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA).

“The plan for handling air traffic movement is excellent at present, ensuring air traffic flow with the highest safety and security standards. We are ready to handle further growth in air traffic movement with the support of the most advanced devices called Air Traffic Flow Management,” said Al Eshaq.

According to official numbers, the air space of Qatar can handle over 100 flights an hour, enabling them to land at either the Hamad International Airport or at the Doha International Airport. The capacity of handling air traffic movement and high traffic flow was enhanced with the support of advanced equipment and well-trained staff.

While the technical part of the airport has been well taken care of, fans and tourists who are coming to Qatar to see their favourites in the business end of the tournament are also treated to a spectacle at the Hamad International Airport.

As the Official Airport Partner of the World Cup, the two-time World’s Best Airport – as awarded by Skytrax – HIA has been transformed totally during the competition, creating an excellent atmosphere in both the arrival and departure lounges, providing passengers with the ultimate Qatar 2022 experience.

During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the events at HIA include match day themed performances, a mosaic photo wall, a number of kids’ zones, fan zones and viewing zones, in addition to interactive virtual activities like the AR football – an augmented reality interactive activity with La’eeb Mascot reacting with the players – and a dedicated ‘try your teams’ jersey’ booth for football fans to pose for photos with their favourite team jersey and have them sent directly to their email – and more.

The kids’ zones at HIA feature a variety of activities, including interactive drawings, face painting, a soccer ball pit and giant Lego set-ups. The mosaic photo wall, located next to the famous lamp bear at the centre of the airport’s south plaza, provides passengers with the opportunity to have their picture taken and become part of the legacy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“As the official airport partner of the first World Cup in the Middle East, we are delighted to be hosting several activations and events at our premises – celebrating the tournament with our travellers and proudly representing Qatar. Curated for all passengers, the FIFA-themed activations will provide our visitors with a variety of options to discover HIA’s world-class services and hospitality,” said the HIA’s COO Badr Mohammed Al Meer.

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