CAAC approved Air Koryo direct flights between Pyongyang-Beijing

North Korea National Carrier Air Koryo Crew Photo With Aircraft Tupolev TU134B

Air Koryo has been given approval by China's civil aviation authority to operate flights between Beijing and Pyongyang on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from March 26 to Oct. 28. This decision was announced in response to queries made by the media. 


Air China, which used to fly between the two cities, has not applied to resume flights between China and North Korea, according to the authority. Flight approvals are granted seasonally by the regulator. 


Depending on demand and season, there were usually 3-5 Air Koryo flights between Beijing and Pyongyang a week, as well as flights to Shanghai and Shenyang, according to Simon Cockerell, general manager at Beijing-based Koryo Tours, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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For the first time since lockdowns began in 2020, an Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang landed in Beijing early on Tuesday, as North Korea begins to open its border to passenger travel. The flight was believed to be a special one that would bring back North Koreans who were stranded in China due to border closures, according to Western tour companies that operate in North Korea. Over the past year, cargo train and ship traffic have slowly increased, but only recently has North Korea started allowing some international passenger travel.

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