Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar al-Baker has announced that the Hamad International Airport (HIA) expansion project will be inaugurated next month.

This project is expected to increase HIA’s annual passenger handling capacity to 58 million.

al-Baker said that Qatar Airways will use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for at least 10% of its combined fuel volumes by 2030 as part of its commitment towards a low-carbon future.

He also emphasised that a ‘collective effort’ was required for the aviation industry to reach its 2050 net-zero carbon emissions goal.

Speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Financial Symposium, al-Baker said: “This expansion will be a vital part of the future success of Qatar Airways Group and the country’s preparation to hold the FIFA World Cup and beyond.

“The final phase expansion will begin in early January 2023 and is expected to be completed within the next two and a half years, again increasing our capacity to more than 70 million passengers a year.”

According to al-Baker, aircraft and engine manufacturers and fuel suppliers will need to work together to help the industry meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The CEO added: “This will help us get economies of scale to bring down the price in order to sustain our industry.

“At Qatar Airways we are at the forefront of environmental protection, taking our responsibility seriously and remaining steadfast to protect the planet for our future generations.

“As we recover, our collective goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require an industry-wide and collaborative effort. The aviation industry is fully committed to making the net zero carbon emissions a goal, a reality.”

In July this year, Qatar Airways announced plans to resume flights between Doha, Qatar, and Canberra, Australia, on 1 October.