Egypt’s flagship airline EgyptAir ran it's first flight from Cairo to Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, following a four-year suspension, the airline said in a statement.
In an official statement, the airline's chairman Safwat Mosalam said its first flight was originally intended to depart on Saturday but was postponed to Sunday due to bad weather conditions at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
Mosalam said the airliner is set to return from Tokyo on Tuesday with 253 passengers on board, demonstrating the route's popularity.
EgyptAir will run direct flights to Tokyo every Saturday evening, with flights set to increase if there is demand.
Weekly EgyptAir flights to Tokyo and Osaka were suspended in 2012 following a decline in the number of Japanese tourists visiting Egypt. Flights were briefly resumed before being suspended again in 2013.
Egypt has been seeking to attract more tourists from Asian markets following an October 2015 plane disaster in Egypt that resulted in the suspension of Russian tourist flights.
The Russian plane crashed over Sinai shortly after departing Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh. Prior to the incident, Russian tourists had represented the biggest single group of foreign visitors to Egypt.
In November 2016, EgyptAir resumed direct flights between Tokyo and its popular tourist hub Luxor, aiming to "revive tourism to [Luxor], which is considered one of the most important touristic destinations in Upper Egypt,” according to EgyptAir.