International travel to more than 150 countries is only a short drive away after Qatar Airways announced it would service international flights to Canberra Airport from February 2018.
For about $1300, economy passengers would be able to travel return to Dublin, Zurich, Paris and a myriad of other European cities.
A one-way flight to London from Canberra would take about 27 hours.
Anabel Williams from the Wagga Business Chamber said the potential for small businesses to trade in international commodities would be a “huge win” for the city.
“(The international flights) open up a whole new scope for all the materials that could now be exported out of Canberra,” she said.
“It’s a fabulous thing for the city especially when you look at all the products that we have the capacity to export.
“We have a lot of large industry in Wagga such as transport manufacturers and truck parts – those larger types of infrastructure – that would benefit the most.”
The daily service to Canberra on Qatar would begin on February 12 while the first Canberra to Doha flight would run on February 13.
Destination Riverina Murray chair Genevieve Fleming said the airport could provide endless opportunities for the region, and the board is exploring various ways to support domestic and international trade.
“One of the things we’re really keen to do is help operators in our region become export ready,” she said.
“There are various cultural and language requirements that need to be met before export and we have a longer term strategy to make sure our offering is right for those markets.
“We’re focused on the domestic market first because we have to get everything right before we start sending our product all over the world.”
Qatar airlines would carry international passengers from Canberra to Sydney on a 385-seater Boeing 777-300 aircraft before joining international connections on a jumbo A380.
Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said the Qatar connection would be an exciting development for the region and its surrounding areas.
“The beginning of the Qatar Airways service provides seamless access to the major international hub of Doha and a stepping off point for the Middle East, Europe and Beyond,” he said
“We welcome Qatar Airway’s strong support for Canberra and the people living in our wider region of around one million people.”