Qatar Airways has announced plans to fly to Cardiff, along with a raft of new destinations including San Francisco, Cardiff, Malaga, Lisbon, Chittagong, Kiev and Mombasa.

Business Traveller‘s Middle East edition was at a Qatar Airways press conference at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, where the news was announced, and Cardiff Airport has now confirmed the new route on its Twitter page.

Flights will launch in 2018, with Deb Barber, CEO at Cardiff Airport saying:

“I am immensely proud that Qatar Airways has chosen Cardiff Airport to operate its new service to Doha. It is fantastic that we will now be able to offer our customers more choice of travel with a world-class airline providing easy connections to destinations across the world.

“More than 1 million passengers per year from our region are travelling to destinations that are on the Qatar Airways network. Over 90 per cent of these passengers are currently travelling via London and this new service will give them the opportunity to fly more conveniently from Cardiff, their local airport.

“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.”

Last month Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker hinted that the carrier was looking to add two new UK destinations.

The full list of 12 new destinations announced today is as follows:

  • 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

It is also understood that Qatar Airways will delay the launch of its new Las Vegas route until the second quarter of next year, due to “technical reasons”. Last week fellow Gulf carrier Emirates announced cuts to five of its 12 US routes.