Qatar Airways launches first ever Cardiff-Doha direct flight

The new connection gives the people of Wales and the South West a network of more than 150 destinations globally

A celebratory water cannon salute waited at the Cardiff Airport yesterday for the first ever direct Qatar Airways flight from Doha to land, launching a regular connection between the two cities.

As a part of massive expansion plans, the Qatar-based carrier has unveiled the first ever route between the Gulf and Wales opening connections for the Welsh and South Western travellers to 150 destinations globally.  

“Today marks an especially important milestone for both Qatar Airways and Cardiff Airport. The new service, our fifth gateway into the UK, now provides the people of Wales and the South West with an extensive network of more than 150 destinations globally,” said Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, in a statement.

For the occasion of the inaugural flight to Cardiff, the airline flew its ultra-modern Airbus A350-900 to the city, making it the first time such an aircraft has landed on Welsh soil.

For future flights on the new route, the carrier will use its Boeing 787 Dreamliner – providing a two-class configuration, including 22 seats in business class and 232 seats in economy class.

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 Airport, will also bring Wales closer to leading global markets such as India, China, Singapore and Australasia.”

The introduction of the Doha-Cardiff route is one of many Qatar Airways has unveiled recently. Their massive expansion plans include being the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg as well.

Other new destinations to be launched by the airline include Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece and Málaga, Spain.