The Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) and business aircraft trip-support companies are warning business jet passengers and operators of the need to plan well in advance of the FIFA World Cup. According to trip support company UAS, around 1.2 million fans are expected to travel to Qatar to attend matches throughout the tournament, which starts in Doha on November 20 and runs to December 18.
“Demand for private jets and charter flights is seeing a sharp surge as the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar approaches, with operators registering requests from organizations and individuals wanting to avoid long waits and flight delays at the airports,” QCAA said.
“The volume of air traffic [will] put enormous pressure on slot availability at Hamad International Airport (OTHH) and Doha International Airport (OTBD), as well as hotel room availability in Doha and the surrounding areas,” said UAS operations director James Collas. “World Cup ticket holders don’t have any time to waste to plan their World Cup experience. There are so many options that include direct operations to Qatar or travel via neighboring Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE.”
Tom Murphy, the head of FBOs and aircraft management specialist for Gama Aviation Sharjah, said private jets will have to pay $5,000 per slot at at OTHH and OTDB, while slot violations will carry penalties of up to $25,000 if turnaround times exceed 45 minutes. But he noted that Sharjah International Airport in nearby UAE is slot-free and has ample parking space.