Qatar unprepared for World Cup air traffic crush, report says It predicted a 10 to 14 million passengers on each flight during the tournament.
— Air traffic in and out of Qatar before and during the World Cup will likely be the most consequential of any country during the summer, making what has been billed as an “Olympic moment” even more surreal.
The World Cup has inspired excitement in many countries around the world, but air traffic in and out of Qatar as the World Cup approaches will likely be the most consequential of any country since the Olympics.
Air traffic officials have been anticipating the crush of tens of millions of passengers between Qatar and different parts of the world that will descend on the emirate for the three-week tournament.
In the latest forecast from aviation advisory firm Sabre, the maximum number of passengers during the three weeks after the tournament began is about 14 million for all flights from Qatar to other destinations, including the UAE and Europe.
To put that number in perspective, Sabre noted that the maximum number of passengers from any other country during the month of July is 14.5 million for flights to Europe, 4.8 million for flights to the UAE, 5.9 million for flights to Asia, and 1.9 million for flights to North and South America.
During that time, it expects the number of passengers from Qatar to the rest of the world to rise to 25 million, according to the analysis of air traffic models.
Sabre said it expects that air traffic during the World Cup will be “faster than even the most optimistic scenarios had expected,” with peak numbers of 25 million passengers in the air every day.
It said an average daily flight between the UAE and Europe will take an average of 40 minutes, with some flights completing the journey in as little as 28 minutes.
To put it in perspective, Sabre said the average time between flights in 2015, the most recent year for which global data is available, was 27 minutes.
Airlines from the UAE, Europe, Japan and the U.