A first of its kind flight will make a trip overseas more convenient for thousands of Minnesotans.

On Saturday, a Delta passenger plane took off from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to land at Tokyo International Airport for the first time.

Before Saturday, flights from MSP brought passengers to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The Tokyo International Airport is nearly an hour closer to the city’s downtown.

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the service in July.

Those who helped push for the flights said it will help support Minnesota’s economy.

“You know maybe in New York or L.A. people can just say, ‘Well, we’re just going to stay here and we’ll find another flight.’ For us, the airport and this hub is so important to keeping all of our major fortune 500 companies here, as well as our businesses throughout the state,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.

The flight to Japan means MSP now offers 28 nonstop flights to international destinations.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission said nearly 17,000 Minnesotans travel between MSP and Japan each year.