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If you’re looking to get to Pyongyang, North Korea, you’ll have more flight options starting Wednesday.
That’s the day that Air China says it will resume its regular flights between Beijing (PEK) and Pyongyang (FNJ), the hermit nation’s capital city with service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The flagship carrier of China had suspended the route in November 2017 — some say due to lack of demand, while others say it was a reaction to the international fallout over North Korea’s controversial nuclear program.
Either way, diplomatic relations between the two countries seem to be warming once again, especially after two meetings between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un earlier this spring. Air China representatives told Reuters that the route’s re-launch was for “market reasons.”
The resumption of Air China’s PEK-FNJ route is the latest sign that regional tensions might be thawing — at least in the aviation sector. North Korea’s state-owned airline, Air Koryo, said in May that it was interested in adding a new charter flight from Pyongyang (FNJ) to Chengdu (CTU), one of the biggest cities in Western China. Last month, officials said the flights could start as early as late June, pending approval from China’s aviation regulator.
And, even more notably, North Korea asked the International Civil Aviation Organization in May for permission to launch flights into South Korea on a reported route between Pyongyang (FNJ) and Seoul (ICN). Special charter flights between the two Koreas occurred before the Olympics in February, the first time that’s happened since 1994.
According to its website, North Korea’s Air Koryo currently operates flights from Pyongyang (FNJ) to Beijing (PEK), Shenyang (SHE) in China and Vladivostok, Russia (VVO).
Featured image of Pyongyang Airport by ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images.
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