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All Nippon Airways restarts flights to Myanmar for the first time in 12 years

TOKYO -- Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Monday restarted direct flights to Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon after a 12-year hiatus, underscoring renewed interest in the fast-reforming nation.

The carrier pointed to the rising number of business travelers and tourists headed to Myanmar, a one-time international pariah state that has recently introduced a raft of democratic reforms as it opens up to the world.

ANA, which suspended flights in 2000 due to political instability in the country, said it would have fly three flights a week between Tokyo's Narita aiport and Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and former capital.

“Myanmar has high potential for economic growth. A lot of Japanese firms have already decided to make inroads into Myanmar and many others are planning to do so,” ANA President Shinichiro Ito said Monday, according to Kyodo News.

Other airlines including Hong Kong's Dragonair and Singapore Airlines have announced plans for regular flights to Yangon.

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