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Pyongyang flights suspended due to lack of demand

By Luo Wangshu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-23 07:42

Air China, the nation's flagship carrier, has suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang due to a decline in market demand, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Xu Yanchun, the airline's head of publicity, confirmed that the move was associated with ticket sales.

He also noted the date when service would resume remains unknown.

"It depends on the market," he said.

Air China, the country's largest international airline, also does not offer indirect flights from Beijing to the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, he said.

According to earlier reports, the route was temporarily suspended on April 17 due to poor ticket sales, but then resumed on May 5.

Air China opened a Beijing-Pyongyang route in March 2008, offering three flights a week. The route used Boeing 737 aircraft.

Flight CA121 left Beijing at 13:40 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and arrived in Pyongyang at 16:20 local time. The return flight, CA122, left Pyongyang at 17:20 local time and arrived in Beijing at 18:05.

According to China Central Television, Air China was the only international airline with routes between the DPRK and other countries, except Air Koryo, the DPRK's only airline.

Air Koryo now carries Pyongyang-Beijing, Pyongyang-Shenyang and Pyongyang-Vladivostok routes.

Lu Kang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in response to a question at a regular news conference that he was not aware that Air China had stopped Beijing-Pyongyang flights.

"Airlines decide operation plans in accordance with their operations and market status," he said.

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