Qatar Airways has officially announced it will begin operating daily direct flights from Cardiff Airport, with the first flight taking place as early as 1st May 2018.
BQ Live reported earlier this year that the airline was planning a new Cardiff route, and the inaugural date has now been set.
The new service between the Welsh capital and Doha will be operated on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
This will be the first regular direct long-haul flight that links Wales to a major global hub in the Gulf region each and every day – providing a boost to both leisure and business travellers through a wealth of long-haul connectivity.
Services will fly between the national airport of Wales and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar’s capital, which is one of the world’s largest hub airports in the world, with over 30 million passengers using the state of the art facilities each year.
Qatar Airways Group CEO, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch date for our direct service to Cardiff. Many travellers currently fly to and from London, using ground transport between London and Cardiff, so this new route will allow passengers to fly direct from Wales to Doha and beyond for the first time.”
Deb Barber, CEO of Cardiff Airport, commented: “I am immensely proud that world class airline Qatar Airways has recognised the potential that exists within the region and chosen Cardiff Airport to operate a daily service.
“The service opens up a world of connectivity for our customers to destinations across Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia.
“Over 1.4 million passengers per year from the region travel to destinations that are available on the Qatar Airways network – 90% of these passengers are currently travelling from London airports, which emphasises just how much demand exists within the market.
“We look forward to developing our fruitful relationship with Qatar Airways over the coming months and to the start of this exciting new route in May 2018.”
Roger Lewis, chairman of Cardiff Airport, added: “This is a pivotal moment for Cardiff Airport.
“The far reaching consequences of this service for passengers and businesses across Wales and the South West of England will be transformational.
“Cardiff Airport will now provide the only daily scheduled direct flight to the Gulf in the South West of the UK. This is very special indeed for us all.
“I am totally confident that the dedicated and hardworking team at Cardiff Airport will deliver a world class service with Qatar Airways for passengers and businesses visiting Wales and travelling across the world.
“The critically important relationship between Qatar, Wales and the United Kingdom is substantially strengthened today.”