Improved access from the UK to the Seychelles is to be offered with Qatar Airways starting daily flights to the Indian Ocean islands via Doha.

Passengers flying from Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh will be able to transfer at the airline’s hub at Hamad international airport to take the Seychelles connection from December 12.

The shortest connection time in Doha is one hour 55 minutes, giving an overall travel time between the UK and the Seychelles of around 13 hours 34 minutes.

Return fares from the UK start at £1,001 in economy and £3,396 in business class.

The airline’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker, said: “Over recent years Qatar Airways has seen significant growth, expanding its worldwide footprint to provide more opportunities for global leisure travellers to premium destinations such as the Seychelles.

“When travelling with Qatar Airways we ensure that our passengers’ dream holiday starts with an extraordinary journey on board.”

Seychelles tourism and culture minister Alain St Ange added: “It gives me great pleasure to see Qatar Airways serving the Seychelles.

“I know that the airline is very popular with the local community and we all look forward to many more years of fruitful cooperation and increased tourism business to our shores.”