This service will re-open Kota Kinabalu as the Malaysian national carrier's eastern hub, said the airline in a statement
Beginning today, MH080 will depart Kota Kinabalu at 7.25am on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and would arrive at Tokyo at 2.00 pm on the same days.
The return flight, MH081 would depart Tokyo at 2.55 pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and arrive in Kota Kinabalu at 8.05 pm on the same days.
The statement also said a two-class configured Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 144 economy class seats and 16 business class seats would be used for this Tokyo - Kota Kinabalu return service.
Malaysia Airlines' Group Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Malaysia Airlines had previously suspended various routes flying out of Kota Kinabalu to the Far-East.
Up until the start of the winter season Malaysia Airlines had been serving Osaka Kansai twice-weekly from Kota Kinabalu. However, this route appears to be making way for the new Tokyo Narita service, and maintains a non-stop link between Kota Kinabalu and Japan. The airline does not face any direct competition on the route. Last year Kota Kinabalu International Airport handled over 5.8 million passengers, an increase of 50% since 2004.
"The suspension was part of our network consolidation involving single-aisle aircraft operations.
"As promised, we reviewed the decision and with market demand, have decided to reinstate this route. We are confident that this route will serve us well and at the same time be a valuable addition for our customers", he said, adding that the new service supported the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign.