QATAR. The New Doha International Airport (NDIA), due to open in 2012, will feature a unique, world-class commercial offer, according to Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways and Doha International Airport.

“This airport will be state-of-the-art, very environmentally friendly and have a very sustainable design compared with any airport that has been built in the world,” he told The Moodie Report during a filmed interview in Doha yesterday that will be shown in full at this year’s Trinity Forum in Macau (23-25 September).

“We have the advantage that as an airline we are responsible for the total passenger delivery, which means that we also run the airport – and we run the duty free.”

Akbar Al Baker: “We will have retail areas that are massive and which will cater for all levels of passengers”

The New Doha International Airport is an integral part of Qatar Airways’ overall vision, Al Baker said.

“We will not rest until we put Qatar Airways in the top ten airlines in the world. This is the vision and to achieve this we need to have an airport of the size, quality and amenities which we are constructing.”

While declining to give away too many details of the airport’s unique facilities, Al Baker said: “One thing I can tell you is that it will be a surprise to the entire region.”

Talking about the commercial offer, ranging from duty free to food & beverage, Al Baker said: “We have put a lot of focus on the non-aeronautical revenues. We will have retail areas that are massive and which will cater for all levels of passengers. We will have state-of-the-art facilities for food & beverage; we will have many branded food outlets; a swimming pool; a full-fledged spa; and squash courts.”

Al Baker said the new airport’s commercial selection will feature something for everyone: “We are channelling through our airport people from different walks and levels of society; and people of different levels of income. So we will have to provide facilities for every single passenger according to what they can spend.

“We cannot just concentrate on any one sector of passenger because we are an international airport and one with so much ethnic diversity that we will always cater for someone who wants to spend half a Dollar and someone who wants to spend US$100,000.”

Akbar Al Baker speaks to Martin Moodie during a filmed interview for this year’s Trinity Forum in Macau

Talking about current trading, Al Baker said that despite a projected -6% decline in spend per passenger over the next year at the existing Doha International Airport as a result of the financial crisis, the airport was still managing to grow retail penetration and overall sales.

“The number of passengers coming to our duty free shops is increasing and our revenues are increasing so we are expecting a +24% increase in the revenue,” he said.

NOTE: The filmed interview with Akbar Al Baker, shown in full only at The Trinity Forum, will be one of the highlights of this year’s event. The New Doha International Airport promises to have one of the airport world’s great commercial offers and Keith Hunter, Vice President Qatar Duty Free Company & Qatar Airways Inflight Duty Free, will be at the Forum to talk about that offer in greater detail.

For registration, programme and sponsorship details on this year’s Trinity Forum click here.


Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker in film interview at Trinity Forum; GMR boosts presence – 11/06/09

Qatar Airways growth prompts US$1 billion investment in Doha International Airport; duty free space set for major increase – 07/05/09

Qatar Duty Free receives outstanding regional sales award from Nestlé International Travel Retail – 17/03/09

Qatar Airways unveils latest inflight duty free magazine as Keith Hunter drives retail to new heights – 13/02/09