Direct flights planned between Pyongyang and Shanghai

By Michael Rank

Direct flights are planned between Pyongyang and Shanghai, as well as charter flights from Chinese cities to the North Korean capital, a Chinese website reports.

It gives few details, but says the plans follow two visits by Shanghai tourism officials to Pyongyang in June.

At present the only direct flights are from Beijing and Shenyang. The report says there are hopes of attracting more tourists from the Shanghai region and mentions the possibility of charter flights from nearby Hangzhou.

It quotes the Shanghai officials who visited Pyongyang as finding the city “quiet” and “clean”. A separate report notes that because of “tension on the Korean peninsula” Shanghai residents haven’t been terribly interested in visiting North Korea, but this is now expected to change.

In loosely related news, a North Korean delegation in June visited the northern Chinese city of Tianjin, where they are reported to have toured the European Airbus factory where the A320 is being assembled and which opened last year. Rather surprising, given the high tech nature of such a plant… The first Airbus assembled in China was delivered the day after the North Korean visit. The North Korean delegation was led by the deputy chairman of the Central Inspection Bureau, Choi In-hak최인학.

Share

9 Responses to “Direct flights planned between Pyongyang and Shanghai”

  1. Simon says:

    NK is currently not an ‘approved destination’ for Chinese tourists meaning that Chinese companies are not supposed to sell packages there, until this changes it is difficult to see how viable flights to other locations in China other than Beijing and Shenyang would be, also it is hard to see how Air China makes money on their PEK – FNJ route already due to the generally very low occupancy rate (is that the right word?) on their flights

  2. GregorSamsa says:

    Could further developments come from the DPRK flagcarrier? Air Koryo is still expecting delivery of a second Tupolev 204-300. Will they add new routes or just give retirement to their classics (il62, tu-154b2)? Some airliners forum members also suggest an (unconfirmed) interest in quad-engined long range ilyushin 96 (which are to be phased out from the aeroflot fleet).
    -i did not know that NK was an unapproved destination for Chinese tourists. Even governemental / semi-public chinese agencies (ex: CITS) sell North Korean tour packages.

  3. Simon says:

    yes but only CITS branches in NE China are supposed to do this, some kind of regional agreement thing I think, this year there’s been a massive drop off in Chinese tourism, its a small fraction of what it was last year and for many previous years.
    Air Koryo could in theory add more routes and maybe Shanghai would be a good idea for them, Beijing is an obvious one being the main point of entry and Shenyang (although the 2 flights a week there are on small planes, the train goes from Pyongyang to there too which is more common for Koreans) has a lot of Koreans doing business there. Shanghai however doesn’t have a consulate and not so much NK business (one restaurant is the only think I know of) so perhaps making their irregular flights to places like Bangkok and Singapore more common would be better for them, they fly there already and have representation there, Koreans do business in those places and they wouldn’t be eating into their own market as they might if they flew to Shanghai (they would see anyone travelling from south of Qingdao going there instead of Beijing – dividing and conquering themselves perhaps) anyway who knows? not me!

  4. Spelunker says:

    Here’s an article from April 30, 2009 on one day tours to Sinuiju from Dandong:

    China reopened its land border with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to tourism at Dandong, a city in the northeastern province of Liaoning, beginning Wednesday.

    A group of 71 tourists left Dandong for Sinuiju, the border city facing Dandong across the Yalu River for one-day tours early Wednesday. They were mostly Dandong locals.

    They were the first group of tourists to arrive in Sinuiju since February 2006 when China suspended all of its border tour programs following rampant gambling by Chinese tourists, according to the exit and reentry section of the Public Security Bureau in Dandong.

    Dandong got the approval to restart the border tourism program after a joint examination and evaluation by the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice and the National Tourism Administration in January.

    On the one-day tour program tourists could visit six scenic sites in Sinuiju, including a museum on the revolutionary deeds of Kim Il Sung, father of DPRK incumbent top leader Kim Jong Il, plus a free lunch for each tourist.

    The tour program is only for Chinese citizens, and not for foreigners, said the Public Security Bureau in Dandong City.

  5. Spelunker says:

    I have investigated this matter further and now bring you news froma Chinese report on July 8 about planned charter flights from Qingdao (Shandong province) to Pyongyang:
    朝鲜高丽航空也计划近期执飞青岛至平壤的包机。朝鲜高丽航空计划于近期执飞青岛—平壤包机.
    http://www.sd.xinhuanet.com/news/2009-07/08/content_17040133.htm

    I also have news from Guangzhou in May 2009 that North Korea 4 day and 5 day tour packages to Pyongyang are being offered for about US $700 using flights from Shenyang:
    广州也推出了系列产品,行程以5天4晚或4天3晚为主,搭乘图-154客机,从沈阳直飞神秘国度朝鲜首都平壤,价格在4800~5500元左右。
    http://gzdaily.dayoo.com/html/2009-05/12/content_564362.htm

    So what is a Chinese tourist supposed to do in Pyongyang?
    来到平壤,有几件事是一定要干的:喊一声“同志!”,尝一口朝鲜泡菜,坐一次深入地下百余米的平壤地铁,吃一碗玉流馆的平壤冷面,还要看一场10万人表演的《阿里郎》演出。
    Here’s the list: Shout “Comrades!”, taste kim chee, ride the Pyongyang subway, eat a bowl of cold noodles, and watch the big Arirang show with 100,000 performers.
    http://news.163.com/09/0512/06/593H2JVI000120GR.html

  6. Eduard says:

    Does anyone know if any kind of aeronautical material is being currently produced in NK?

  7. Chuck says:

    Another Chinese news article covered this today, based on a South Korean report:

    朝鲜将开设平壤至上海航线吸引中国游客

    韩国《Nocut新闻》7月16日报道称,朝鲜高丽航空将开设平壤至中国上海的航线,并且平壤至青岛的直飞包机的首次运营也在计划中。

    报道称,最近朝鲜旅游总局官员对访问平壤的上海旅游局官员表示,希望上海能够更加关注朝鲜旅游,朝鲜计划在平壤和上海之间开设航线。另外,朝鲜官员还透露,现在正在考虑平壤和杭州之间特殊包机的运营事宜。

    韩媒称,朝鲜之所以增加与中国之间的航线,是因为去年9月中国政府将朝鲜指定为海外旅行地,朝鲜希望维持中国旅客人数。

    To summarize, it says that Shanghai Tourism Bureau officials were in Pyongyang recently, and that a flight between Pyongyang-Shanghai will begin soon (operated by Air Koryo). It also mentions that arrangements are being made for a charter flight from Pyongyang-Qingdao and a special Charter flight from Pyongyang-Hangzhou.

  8. […] It looks like you will soon be able to fly to Pyongyang via Shanghai now. […]

  9. […] As NKEW reported in July, North Korea is also targeting Shanghai as a source of tourism revenue, and there is further talk of charter flights from Qingdao in Shandong province to Pyongyang. […]