PHILADELPHIA (AP) — City officials say Qatar Airways will begin nonstop service from Philadelphia to Doha in March of next year.

Officials say the route is Philadelphia’s first to the state of Qatar in the southern Arabian Gulf region of the Middle East.

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.

Mayor Michael Nutter hailed the news, saying convenient international air service is essential to the economic vitality of the region.

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