MIAMI – Air China has ceased flights between Beijing-Capital airport and Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city.
China’s state-owned airline stated there was lack of demand on the route amidst the sanctions North Korea received by the UN over their nuclear program.
According to Air China’s press office, the last flight to Pyongyang was on Monday. It remains unclear whether the service might resume.
However, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said he hadn’t heard about Air China’s cancellation. He said such decisions would be made based on the “state of operation and the market.”
The Chinese government has supported UN sanctions on North Korea but is against some measures taken that might affect the isolated country’s population.
Back in April, Air China cut the frequency of flights to North Korea due to lack of demand, as well as Chinese charter carriers that suspended their services definitely.
Many organisms and countries have banned travel to North Korea in the last year. In September, President Donald Trump made a presidential proclamation were the Pyongyang was added to the U.S. Travel Ban list, because “the Kim Jong Un’s regime was not cooperating and stopping its missile program.”
Also, the U.S. President just added Pyongyang to the list of governments that support terrorism. However, there’s not a statement that relates Air China dropping the route to the continuous sanctions the DPRK has received.
Up until today, Air China was the only foreign airline to serve North Korea. The suspension left DPRK with Air Koryo, country’s flagship carrier, as the only airline with international scheduled services.
Air Koryo started life in 1945 and has occasional services to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, and Dandong in China and Vladivostok in Russia, even though the status of these flights fluctuate.
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Lu Kang finally concluded that “given the highly complex and sensitive situation on the peninsula, we hope all relevant parties can do something conducive to alleviating the tension and pulling all sides concerned back to the track of negotiation and dialogue to settle the peninsular nuclear issue.”