Qatar Airways has announced a service to Cardiff airport, linking Wales and south west England to Doha in 2018.
The Gulf airline announced the Welsh capital as the only new planned UK route in its network for 2018.
It will be the first regular direct long-haul flight linking Wales and south west England to a major global hub in the Gulf region.
Cardiff airport chairman Roger Lewis said the announcement was “game changing” for the country and airport. “The benefits of this relationship will be transformational for both businesses and passengers across the south west of England and for Wales.
"I look forward to returning to Doha in the near future to further develop this special bi-lateral relationship between Wales, the UK and Qatar."
Deb Barber, CEO at Cardiff airport said: “It has been a long journey to get to this stage, with discussions spanning a number of years. Over the coming months we will work with the team at Qatar Airways to confirm the details of the service and look forward to the flights being on sale in the near future.”
The new route to Cardiff was one of 12 destinations announced by Qatar:
- San Francisco, US
- Cardiff, United Kingdom
- Utapao, Thailand
- Chittagong, Bangladesh
- Mykonos, Greece
- Málaga, Spain
- Accra, Ghana
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Abidjan, Ivory Coast
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Mombasa, Kenya
The Welsh government purchased Cardiff airport for £52 million from previous owner TBI in 2013.