Qatar Airways has confirmed that direct daily flights to Cardiff will start on May 1 next year.
The service between Doha and the Welsh airport will be served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with 22 business class seats and 232 in economy.
The introduction of the first long-haul route from Cardiff to the Middle East – announced earlier this year – is seen as transformative the airport as it will open up the Gulf region for passengers from South Wales and south-west England.
Travellers to and from Australia and south-east Asia are also set to benefit from the daily long-haul flights via Doha.
Cardiff will be the airline’s fifth destination in the UK alongside Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our new route to the Welsh capital.
“Many travellers currently fly to and from London using ground transport between London and Cardiff, and the launch of direct service will allow passengers to fly directly from Wales and the south-west to Doha and beyond for the first time.
“We look forward to offering both business and leisure travellers this convenient connection to Cardiff and points beyond.”
Deb Barber, chief executive of the Welsh government-owned airport, added: “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.
“More than 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.”
Carwyn Jones, first minister of Wales, said: “The daily service between Cardiff and Doha is a huge boost for Wales. It will open up Wales’ links with the rest of the world and deliver new economic, leisure and travel opportunities for Welsh businesses and the people of Wales.
“Providing a direct route into the world’s fastest growing hub airport, Hamad international airport, will also bring Wales closer to leading global markets such as India, China, Singapore and Australasia.”
Cardiff is one of 26 new routes planned by Qatar Airways for the remainder of this year and 2018, including Chiang Mai in Thailand, Canberra and San Francisco.
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