Tour operator Discover Egypt has welcomed news that Egyptair is to resume direct flights from Heathrow to Luxor in February next year.

Direct weekly flights restart on Monday, Feburary 17, 2014, after nearly five months. Until then, the airline continues to offer flights via Cairo to reach Luxor.

The carrier’s direct flights were suspended on July 5 this year when the Foreign & Commonwealth Office introduced a ban against all but essential travel to parts of Egypt following political unrest in the country.

Discover Egypt is putting the weekly scheduled flights back into its schedule for Nile cruises and holidays departing from February 17.

Its Nile cruise holidays resumed this week with flights offered via Cairo to Luxor after FCO advice was relaxed on November 22.

The operator said the new direct flights would suit those wishing to connect from other regional UK airports, with departures at 2.35pm every Monday, no supplements, baggage allowance of 23kg, and inflight meals included.

Commercial director Philip Breckner said: “I have been lobbying for this for days and been in direct conversations with the minister of tourism each day. This is the only direct service and will make it much easier for holidaymakers.”

Both Thomson Airways and easyJet withdrew direct flights out of Gatwick to Luxor as a result of political unrest.

Breckner is hopeful the news of a direct flight will help renew confidence in the destination. More than 50 holidaymakers joined Discover Egypt’s first Nile cruise this week, making it more than 60% full.

“We had customers booked on this a long time ago but we also had some new business. There is lots of pent-up demand and we are the only ones offering Nile cruises at the moment. The hoteliers are crying out for business,” he added.