LDI had undertaken to complete the construction of 19 airport lounges at NDIA by the summer of 2012 in a contract worth over US$ 250 million, but failed to complete the project on time. The airport was due to have opened in December 2012.
Qatar Airways, set to be the airport operator, said LDI had badly defaulted with the delayed airport opening seriously affecting the airline’s expansion plans, causing huge revenue losses, increased construction costs and delay penalties, and more importantly, inconveniencing passengers.
LDI was described as having performed extremely poorly in executing the project and failing to meet construction targets.
The US$15.5 billion new state-of-the-art airport, which will have Doha-based Qatar Airways as its primary customer and operator, is now expected to open in the second half of 2013. The new facility is destined to be an iconic world-class airport that is expected to set high standards in excellence.
Qatar Airways is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, currently operating 116 aircraft to 122 destinations worldwide with plans to fly over 170 aircraft to more than 170 destinations by 2015.
The current Doha International Airport handles almost 20 million passengers a year, with over 80 per cent of the passenger traffic generated by Qatar Airways alone. Had it been completed on time, the new airport would have accommodated the rapid expansion of Qatar’s national airline.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker cited ‘extreme poor performance’ and inability to execute the work within the time required for the project as the reasons for LDI’s contract being terminated, resulting in the legal action estimated at up to US$600 million now being taken.
“We are extremely disappointed by the poor performance of LDI which has failed to carry out the contract in a timely manner which in turn has forced a delay of the opening of the New Doha International Airport by nearly a year,” said Al Baker.
“We have been badly affected as an airline with the delay impacting Qatar Airways’ expansion plans that include new aircraft deliveries and opening up new routes at the rate we want to and more importantly causing a lot of inconvenience to our passengers in addition to the revenue losses to the airline and its subsidiaries.
“Our subsidiaries have been also affected by this delay including Qatar Duty Free, the food outlets and the ground handling which had a negative impact on the revenues of the airline.
Added l Baker: “The current airport we are operating from is already full to capacity with virtually no room to grow. We relied on moving to our new home, the New Doha International Airport this month, but this has not happened.”
“Operational trials of the new airport have been ongoing since the summer as everything was in place, but incomplete airport lounges proved a serious setback.”
Phase One of NDIA is slated to handle over 28 million passengers a year, with the capacity expected to more than double by the time the airport is fully operational in 2018.
Al Baker added that further claims against LDI were expected from other entities affected by this delay.
About Qatar Airways
One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 116 aircraft to 122 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to 12 new destinations – Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania); Yangon (Myanmar), Maputo (Mozambique), Belgrade (Serbia) and Warsaw (Poland).
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); Najaf, Iraq (January 23); Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22).
Notes to Editors
Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best Premium Service Airport for the second consecutive year in 2012. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. In October 2012, Qatar Airways became the first of the major Gulf carriers to officially announce plans to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com