Qatar Airways head slams Bechtel over Doha Airport delays

Akbar Al Baker claims that contractor had been ‘complacent about meeting regulatory requirements’

Akbar Al Baker has blamed the delays in opening the new Hamad International Airport at Bechtel’s feet.

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The head of Qatar Airways has slammed Bechtel, the principal contractor of the new Doha International Airport, for its delayed opening and said that he hoped to begin operations by the end of the year.

Speaking on the side-lines of an event in Chicago, Akbar Al Baker said that Bechtel had been ‘complacent’ in meeting ‘all the regulatory requirements’ mandated by the airline and Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority for the new Hamad International Airport.

The airport had been due to open on April 1, but had to be delayed after the facility was determined not to meet Qatari civil defence building codes, a report by Zawya Dow Jones said.

“They have to be blamed…for our delay in the first place,” said Al Baker, about Bechtel. He declined to comment on whether the airline had sought compensation from the San Francisco based contractor.

Bechtel has yet to offer a comment.

Al Baker said that he expected the airport to be fully operational by the end of the year, but declined to give a specific date.

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