Doha 08th September 2013 : The much-awaited opening of the Hamad International Airport has been postponed yet again.
The new airport, which was supposed to launch three years ago, has already faced many lags. The opening was delayed at the last minute in April 1 this year after the multi-billion dollar project failed to meet the newly-introduced safety and security requirements of Qatar’s Civil Defence Department.
After April 2013 delay it was declared that the launching will be postponed to the end of 2013.
Now, Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways announced that the airport will start operating early 2014, reports said. Al Baker blamed the contractors for the delay. He said US contractor Bechtel had been “complacent” in meeting the requirements of Qatar Airways and Qatar Civil Aviation Authority.
The airline said in December 2012 that it would file a $600m legal claim against the contractor Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) for putting off the opening of the new airport by up to a year. They claimed LDI had “badly defaulted” with the delayed airport launching dangerously affecting the Qatar Airways’ development plans, creating large revenue losses, raised construction charges and troubling passengers.
They said that LDI had started to finish 19 airport lounges construction by the summer last year in a contract worth over $250m, but was unsuccessful to complete the work at the expected time.
LDI said it was deeply saddened by the claims made by Qatar Airways and denied all. It said it was denied full access to the project site for the first nine months of the 16-month project. LDI was incapable of starting all interior contracting work on site as planned because of the NDIA’s refusal to pay acceleration costs recommended by its own management consultancy. As a result, LDI was unable to meet its original contract completion date, it said.
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