How is Doha preparing for the FIFA World Cup?
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The start of the FIFA World Cup is now just days away. Soon, the eyes of the world will be on Doha, the capital of Qatar.
But why do airlines have mixed feelings about big sporting events? They’ll surely be moving lots of fans into and out of Doha during the roughly month-long tournament. Many of these travelers will also be paying high fares. However, many other tourists and business travelers tend to stay away during big events, to avoid the crowds and high prices. That will certainly be the case this time, with Qatar essentially closing its borders to all but citizens, residents, and World Cup ticket holders.
Still, the World Cup will be a big moment for Qatar Airways, which will see its brand image projected to millions of soccer/football fans across the world. Many fans will be arriving on unscheduled charter flights but in terms of scheduled service, Doha will see activity peak at 365 flights on Dec. 1, according to Diio by Cirium (that’s as of October 24th). This compares to 272 flights on the same day of week a month earlier. To accommodate the additional demand, Qatar is temporarily reopening its old airport, which lies adjacent to the new airport that opened in 2014.
Nearby Dubai will also play an important role in handling the influx of World Cup visitors. FlyDubai, for example, will add special flights between Dubai World Central airport and the old Doha airport. Qatar Airways itself will offer temporary service between Dubai World Central and Doha’s new airport.
How are other airlines planning temporary build ups of services into Doha? See our chart below for data on the additional seats into Doha.
NEXT WEEK: What are the latest US airline capacity trends?
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