Apr. 19, 2016

Badr Mohammed Al Meer


Badr Mohammed Al Meer

COO, Hamad International Airport

TBY talks to Badr Mohammed Al Meer, COO of Hamad International Airport, on international recognition, key performance indicators, and transforming the flight experience for passengers.


Badr Mohammed Al Meer was appointed Hamad International Airport (HIA) COO in June 2014. Prior to his appointment at HIA, he was Vice President Engineering and Construction at the United Development Company [UDC], the company which was master developer for the Pearl-Qatar Project. He was then invited to lead the Facilities Management and Capital Projects divisions as Senior Vice President at Qatar Airways Group, before returning to UDC temporarily to complete the successful Pearl-Qatar project as the Acting Chief Executive Officer. Upon the completion of this project, he accepted his current position. He holds degrees in Engineering from the American University of Beirut and the University of Colorado, bringing a wealth of business experience from the Middle East and sound technical knowledge in engineering, construction, and large project development.

Since opening only a short time ago, Hamad International Airport has garnered a large amount of international recognition including three Skytrax 2015 awards, being named as the Strategic Project of the Year at the 2015 Global Projects of the Year award ceremony by CG/LA infrastructure, and being ranked #6 in the World's Best Airports by Conde Naste Traveler. How do these awards help to improve the airport's reputation?

All awards and accolades that HIA receives reinforces its global standing as an international travel hub and five-star gateway for Qatar and the rest of the world. The airport's success, which is demonstrated by these awards, as well as our successful operations, also furthers our ambition to position HIA as a major player in the international aviation sector.

Aside from international recognition, how would you assess the performance of HIA in terms of its KPIs? When looking at these figures, which areas are the most important to drive growth in 2016?

At the moment, having completed just over 17 months of operations, our top priorities are to maintain our smooth and efficient operations and ensure that our operational concepts are embedded properly. As we are the hub airport of the best airline in the world, the customer experience on the ground must match that on board Qatar Airways. Therefore, our KPIs are On Time Performance (OTP) both at arrival and departure as well as Minimum Connection Time (MCT) for both our passengers and baggage. Additionally, since we are committed to delivering a five-star service, we monitor our Airport Service Quality (ASQ) scores as well as Skytrax feedback. Growth is coming from the expanding operations of our national carrier, Qatar Airways. However, our focus for 2016 will be on capacity growth in a manner that will ensure that our twin priorities of operational efficiency and OTP and MCT are not disturbed and that our customer experience continues to be the best in class

What will be the most immediate impact felt by passengers as a result of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) Steering Committee airport expansion plans?

HIA currently caters to 30 million passengers per year. Upon completion of the expansion project, this capacity will increase to 50 million passengers per year. Keeping our growth projections in mind, this expansion has been planned strategically for our capacity to keep up with our passenger growth. This means that our passengers will continue to enjoy HIA's seamless and stress free travel experience. As HIA's facility grows in size, so will the services that we will provide, which will also be something our passengers will get to experience.

How do you think that Qatar and Hamad International Airport are redefining the air travel industry?

HIA is one of the world's newest airports and as such has been designed, developed, and built with the very latest technology, user-experience research, and functional design approach. This combination means that HIA redefines the experience for all passengers and sets new benchmarks in airport design, as has been evidenced by the fact that it won the Skytrax 2015 Best Airport in the Middle East award at the Skytrax Airport Award Ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2015 in Paris in the first year of operations. HIA is not just a travel hub but offers an overall travel experience with our core focus being on passenger engagement. We redefine the passenger travel experience with high levels of investments having been made in passenger facilities and services. This makes us a world-class airport and gives us an edge over the air travel industry. HIA takes a unique and refreshing view on airport hospitality. The airport's award-winning duty free emporium with more than 70 retail shops and more than 30 restaurants is extended with the 100-room Airport Hotel and Vitality, the wellbeing and fitness center, which features two squash courts, a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, and spa. All these services and facilities are a part of the unique passenger experience that HIA offers and helps redefine the role of a modern airport.