Air China to (eventually) Fly to Pyongyang

UPDATE: Surprise–it has been delayed:

Air China delays Pyongyang route for three months
Reuters

1/2/08

Air China has postponed Wednesday’s opening of a new route to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, until March, citing operational reasons, but denied the decision was linked to politics.

Hat tip Michael Rank

Original Story:

Air China to Fly to Pyongyang
CARNOC.com
(hat tip to Werner in Vienna, Aus.)
Simon Li   
11/06/2007

On Nov. 5, Air China announced that the airline will launch Beijing-Pyongyang route on Jan. 2, 2008. This new service means that the airline’s international operations (including Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR) will be increased to 72 routes.

Full flight schedule of Beijing-Pyongyang service as below:

Flight No.:  CA121
Route:  Beijing – Pyongyang
Days of Operation: Wed, Fri, Sun
Aircraft Type:  B737
Dep. Time: 14:00
Arr. Time:  17:00

Flight No.: CA122
Route:   Pyongyang – Beijing
Days of Operation: Wed, Fri, Sun
Aircraft Type:  B737
Dep. Time:  18:00
Arr. Time:   19:00

(NKeconwatch: Notice how this does not conflict with air Koryo’s Tuesday/Saturday schedule.  I predict that if this goes through, we will see greater volumes of Chinese tourists take the Air China flights, and western tourists will still demand the “unique atmosphere” of air Koryo–they might even pay more for it!)

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2 Responses to “Air China to (eventually) Fly to Pyongyang”

  1. Dear Curtis,
    You are probably right that Chinese will prefer the Western planes, and that “foreigners” will be OK with the Russian nostalgia flights, but also there is a practical problem We are only allowed in for 5 days. That means Tue to Sat, or Sat to Wed. If you Air China one way and Air Koryo the other neither will be happy and you could have problems. This means we have to use Air Koryo. Also, the North Koreans control Air Koryo so if there are more bodies they can add an extra section, which they have done in the past. I doubt if Air China could or would do that as easily. I am also worried that if Air China doesn’t have enough customers prior to the Arirang season they may cancel and then we would be left in the cold (or wet). We’ll stick with Air Koryo this year. Walter

  2. […] I predicted that Air China would primarily service Chinese customers, with Westerners sticking with Air Koryo, the North Korean airline. In separate conversations with Koryo Tours and Walter Keats both tour operators expressed a preference for Air Koryo because of its flexibility and unique atmosphere, neither of which Air China can easily match.  […]