Qatar Airways has commenced its first ever service from Doha to Cardiff Airport, marking the start of a new direct route between Wales and the Middle East.
The inaugural flight took off on May 1, from Hamad International Airport, Doha, operated on the latest Airbus A350-900. The regular service will now operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which offers a two-class configuration including 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class. The new service to Qatar will link Wales and the South West of England to global markets across the world including Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Asia.
The Qatar Airways flight will depart, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from Doha at 07:25, arriving Cardiff at 12:50; and on return, depart from Cardiff at 15:55 arriving Doha at 00:45 (+1). On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, the flight will depart Doha at 01:15, arriving Cardiff at 06:40; and on return; departing Cardiff at 08:10 and arriving Doha at 17:00 hours.
Roger Lewis, Chairman of Cardiff Airport, said: ‘This is a pivotal moment for Cardiff Airport, for Wales and the South West of England. The far reaching consequences of this service for passengers and businesses will be transformational.
‘I sincerely thank H.E., Mr. Akbar Al Baker, for the trust he and Qatar Airways are placing in us. I am confident that the team at Cardiff Airport will deliver a world-class service with Qatar Airways for all of our passengers both visiting Wales and those travelling across the world.
‘The critically important relationship between Qatar, Wales and the United Kingdom is substantially strengthened today.’
The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome the first Qatar Airways flight from Doha to our capital city, Cardiff.
‘The new direct 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, will also bring Wales closer to leading global markets such as India, China, Singapore and Australasia.’