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