- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Qatar Airways has begun nonstop daily flights from Philadelphia to Doha, capital of Qatar in the southern Arabian Gulf region of the Middle East.

The inaugural flight of the service arrived Wednesday morning at Philadelphia International Airport.

The city is the fifth in the United States served by the airline, which serves more than 120 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and South America.

Philadelphia political and business leaders have hailed the service. Mayor Michael Nutter said after last year’s announcement that convenient international air service is essential to the economic vitality of the region.

Airport CEO Mark Gale called it a “huge deal” and told KYW that Qatar Airways is the first foreign flag carrier to enter Philadelphia in over a decade.

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