Qatar Airways to boost workforce amidst FIFA 2022 World Cup preparations
Qatar's national airline Qatar Airways announced to Reuters that it is set on boosting its workforce by 10,000 to handle the influx of passengers flying into Doha for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
According to an anonymous spokesperson, the carrier will increase its workforce from 45,000 to over 55,000. The expansion also falls under a broader post-pandemic strategy.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Qatar Airways drastically cut the size of its workforce to below 37,000, with its destinations also taking a hit and being reduced to only 33 cities.
An estimated 1.2 million visitors will be heading to Qatar for this year's World Cup, causing concern surrounding the nation’s airport capacity. The extra traffic is expected to put pressure on Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar's broader infrastructure and hospitality sectors.
Following concerns after the DailyMail reported that insiders were growing worried with HIA's readiness and training of new recruits, Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) released a statement.
"Our prime objective is to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic and enhance the passenger journey for all users," the statement read.
"In anticipation of the surge in traffic during the World Cup, the State of Qatar has upgraded its traffic control systems and executed meticulous plans that were conceived well in advance of hosting the event," said QCAA. "Air traffic controllers undergo continuous training and checking as per international requirements. The training and safety management system of QCAA meets and exceeds standards as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and we have been successfully audited to those standards."
Among other initiatives that Qatar has taken to relieve this pressure is the reopening and refurbishing of Doha International Airport for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Flight bookings to the Gulf state are booming with especially strong demand from other Arabian Gulf nations that are hosting fans and acting as destination bases amidst an accommodation shortage in Qatar.
Flights in and out of Doha are expected to increase by more than 50%, from 700 to 1,600 per day.