Home Travel North Korea Resumes International Flights Post the Covid-19 Pandemic 

North Korea Resumes International Flights Post the Covid-19 Pandemic 

by admin

Post a 3-year long hiatus due to extensive COVID-19 restrictions, North Korea made a significant stride towards reintegration with the world as its first international commercial flight touched down in Beijing on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023. The revival of North Korea’s international flight operations signals a notable shift in its stringent border policies, heralding a return to global connectivity.

Reintegrating with the World

The milestone was achieved by North Korea’s state airline, Air Koryo. The flight landed at Beijing’s Capital Airport at around 9:17 am local time (0117 GMT). This marked the airline’s first flight since early 2020. The departure from North Korea’s capital occurred around 8:30 am local time (2330 GMT), as reported by Flightradar24.

The flight, designated as JS151, was announced on an arrivals board, as observed by an AFP reporter at the airport. The resumption of flights between the Pyongyang airport and Beijing airport followed China’s announcement on August 21st, granting approval for the reopening of commercial flight routes between the two capitals. Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, confirmed that during the upcoming summer and autumn flight season, China approved flight plans for the Pyongyang-Beijing and Beijing-Pyongyang routes operated by Air Koryo.

Temporary Delays in Operations

Despite the initial anticipation of Air Koryo’s return to Chinese skies on August 21, a sudden flight cancellation occurred, causing a temporary delay. However, the successful resumption of operations on August 22nnd marked a significant step towards regional connectivity.

North Korea’s recent diplomatic engagements underscore its evolving stance. The attendance of foreign officials from China and Russia at a military parade in Pyongyang marked the first visit by foreign dignitaries in years. Furthermore, North Korea permitted a delegation of athletes to partake in a taekwondo competition in Kazakhstan, signalling a departure from the isolationist approach that characterised its policies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, Air Koryo has plans to enhance connectivity further. Reportedly, the airline is scheduled to operate two flights between Vladivostok, Russia, and Pyongyang on the upcoming Friday, August 25, and Monday, August 28. This move aligns with North Korea’s broader efforts to renew cross-border ties, reestablish connections, and navigate a new chapter of global engagement.

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