Doha: Qatar recorded a total of 6,857,758 air passengers in November and December 2022, indicating an increase of 61.7% compared to the 4,239,856 recorded within the same period in 2021, according to the Air Transport Statistics released by Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority on Monday.
According to the release, the aircraft movement within the same period witnessed a 33.9% rise, amounting to 43,600 flights compared to a total of 32,557 recorded within the same time span in 2021.
The increase coincided with Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, held from November 20 to December 18, 2022, during which the Qatari airspace witnessed a significantly high operational intensity, the Civil Aviation Authority noted.
Air freight and mail, however, showed a decline of 17.2% (368,365 tons) compared to 444,686 tons recorded within the same months in 2021.
Meanwhile, statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicated that travel bookings to Qatar skyrocketed by 77% in November 2022 (compared to October, 2022) and by more than 87% compared to November 2019.
Ticket sales originating in Morocco, a semifinalist, increased considerably in the week following its national team’s knockout of Spain in the round of 16.
In particular, spontaneous bookings from Morocco to Qatar for the day of the match against Portugal increased from a total of four bookings three days prior to the match to 1,171 bookings two days before the match, IATA noted.
For the match against France, bookings jumped from five bookings three days before to a total of 1,565 bookings two days before the match. The same is true for ticket sales from Argentina, the tournament's winning team. Once it qualified for the final against France, bookings to Qatar almost doubled.
According to the IATA statistic, the majority of tickets for flights before the final, excluding charter flights, were purchased two days before, indicating that the Argentinian fans reacted quickly to travel to Qatar to see the final match.