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The first daily flight from Doha to Cardiff touched down today at Cardiff Airport

Qatar airways aircraft Credit: Qatar airways

The first flight on the new route between Cardiff and Doha in Qatar has landed in Wales.

The new service will connect Cardiff to more than 150 business and leisure destinations worldwide.

The start of the route was marked when the Airbus A350-900, whose wings are made in North wales, landed at Cardiff airport. It will go on to be served by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

On behalf of the team at Cardiff Airport, 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 regular service to Doha from May 1st.

The service opens up a world of connectivity for our customers in Wales and South West England to destinations across Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Asia and beyond.

– Deb Barber, Chief Executive Officer of Cardiff Airport

The new flight from Cardiff to Doha plugs our entrepreneurs straight into one of the most dynamic economies in the Middle East, and an airport which offers a further 150 global destinations.

Qatar wants to diversify its economy away from oil and gas and branch out into healthcare, education, sporting events and other areas. This presents unparalleled opportunities as these are all growth areas for Wales - our financial services sector in Cardiff is one of the fastest growing outside of London, we have outstanding universities with global keen to take Qatari students, we have a world-renowned tourism sector and a proven ability to host international sports events.

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.

– Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales

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The new service, our fifth gateway into the U.K., now provides the people of Wales and the South West with an extensive network of more than 150 destinations globally.

We are delighted to welcome Cardiff into our route network, and to be able to provide the Welsh people with a new gateway to the world. We look forward to welcoming our new Welsh passengers on board and to connecting them to Doha and many points beyond.

– Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive
First minister with Qatar airways Credit: Qatar airways

The critically important relationship between Qatar, Wales and the United Kingdom is substantially strengthened today.

– Mr. Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport

The airport has been under the ownership of the Welsh Government since March 2013 when it was purchased for £52m.

Since that time, improvements have been made to the terminal and a number of new routes have been introduced.