Qatar unprepared for World Cup air traffic crush, report says
QATAR: A Doha airport has been shut for what it said will be a three-hour delay due to air traffic congestion. About 100 flights a day will be cancelled as a result.
The news was made public Friday by the Doha airport’s CEO, Hamid Al Hamdaqi, who cited “delays in the arrival and departure of traffic due to various reasons”.
“Following the request of the airline companies and the necessary adjustments, the airport has been shut temporarily on Friday, February 21, to allow sufficient time for traffic to meet operational requirements,” said an official statement.
Hamdy Al Hamdaqi said the airport would be open by Sunday.
Earlier this week, Qatar Airways announced that it would be suspending all flights to and from the Middle East for the next two months, which will include most of the world.
Al Hamdaqi said that the airport could not handle any more traffic, which would add to the problem.
But the announcement came just days after Doha had announced a plan to handle 3,500,000 passengers a year.
World Cup match congestion: QATAR airport to allow emergency diversion of flights
Qatar’s government is preparing to bring in more than 3,500,000 visitors during the June FIFA World Cup match against its arch-rivals Saudi Arabia this summer, Qatar’s minister of transport told Qatar’s state-operated Al-Jazeera news channel.
The number of visitors, however, does not include people from countries that have already confirmed participation in the tournament.
The number could therefore increase by 30 per cent, said Doha Media Office manager Saad Al Dhaheri as he outlined the decision to create a traffic management plan for the huge influx of visitors to Qatar.