Budget airline Wizz Air UK is to create 40 jobs with a permanent base at Cardiff Airport.
The airline will service nine routes from the airport across Europe and seasonal flights to Egypt.
It comes as a major boost for the airport following the loss of Flybe, which collapsed in March.
Transport Minister Ken Skates said: "This is a positive step for the airport to emerge from the impact of Covid-19."
Cardiff Airport will become the airline's fourth base in the UK, following Luton, Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield.
The move will also indirectly create 250 further jobs in the supply chain, the airline said.
It is to launch nine new routes to resorts such as Alicante, Faro and Tenerife as well as seasonal routes during the summer to Corfu and Palma de Mallorca as well as Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter.
Managing Director Owain Jones said: "This reflects Wizz Air's continued commitment to serving the UK market and generating economic growth, as we create local jobs, stimulate the tourism and hospitality industries and deliver on our promise of providing affordable, direct flights to exciting holiday destinations."
The crisis in the global aviation industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic has seen job losses across Wales.
More than 1,400 jobs were cut by Airbus at its factory in Broughton, Flintshire, while 400 jobs were at risk at three British Airways plants in south Wales and 370 by aircraft engine producer GE at its Nantgarw plant, near Caerphilly.
Spencer Birns, Cardiff Airport's interim chief executive, said the new arrival was "fantastic news for Wales".
He added: "We know many people living in Wales are craving a well-deserved holiday after such a challenging year and these new flights will give so many more opportunities for holidays to be planned now that will give us all something to look forward to for next year."
Russell George MS, Welsh Conservative transport spokesman, welcomed the news as a "shot in the arm" for the sector.
"State-owned Cardiff Airport is by no means out of the woods yet, but this might be a step on a long road to recovery," he said.
It's been a turbulent year for Cardiff Airport, losing Flybe in March just as the Covid pandemic struck, making to difficult to find a replacement carrier.
Its terminal was closed due to travel restrictions, which cost the Welsh government owned airport £2 million a month.
Bosses and ministers will hope this new carrier, delivering new routes and 40 new jobs is a sign of better days ahead.
Passenger numbers have been largely decimated by the pandemic but Wizz Air UK means a boost of 350,000 seats for travellers a year.