Qatar Airways is to launch a daily flight from Cardiff Airport to its hub in Doha, Qatar, in 2018.
The new service will be the first regular direct long-haul flight linking Wales and south-west England to a major global hub in the Gulf region.
It will allow business and leisure travellers to fly directly from their local airport via Doha to a choice of over 150 destinations across the globe in Asia, Australasia, Africa and the Middle East.
The new service from Cardiff will be the latest addition to a growing network of destinations that Qatar Airways serves across the UK and Ireland.
The airline currently flies from London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, and will commence services from Dublin on June 12th this year.
Deb Barber, chief executive, Cardiff Airport, said; “I am immensely proud that Qatar Airways has chosen Cardiff Airport to operate its new service to Doha.
“It is fantastic that we will now be able to offer our customers more choice of travel with a world-class airline providing easy connections to destinations across the world.
“More than one million passengers per year from our region are travelling to destinations that are on the Qatar Airways network.
“Over 90 per cent of these passengers are currently travelling via London and this new service will give them the opportunity to fly more conveniently from Cardiff, their local airport.
“It has been a long journey to get to this stage, with discussions spanning a number of years.
“Over the coming months we will work with the team at Qatar Airways to confirm the details of the service and look forward to the flights being on sale in the near future.”
The new route was announced by Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, today at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
Known for pioneering industry firsts, Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar, and is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world.