In Sweden’s northernmost city, up above the Arctic Circle, the snow cover is so relentless you have to take an ice test when you get your driver’s license. Parking lots offer places to plug in your car so it will restart. And there’s so little winter sunlight that temperatures hover just above zero — although minus 30 is not an anomaly.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
It was 5:30 a.m., and I had arranged to join a group of birdwatchers atop a ski jump. The plan had sounded plausible enough when it was proposed over a few drinks the previous evening, but in the cold light of a Stockholm dawn I was beginning to have my doubts. The taxi driver was also skeptical. He knew of the ski jump, but couldn’t believe anyone would ascend it at daybreak to watch birds.