The Chinese regional carrier Qingdao Airlines, based in Shandong has announced the opening of three new flight routes to North Korea, becoming only the second foreign airline to provide flights to the country (Air China). As reported by CH Aviation.com, customers will be able to fly to Pyongyang from Qingdao, Zhengzhou and and Quanzhou. Despite recent sanctions, and also disruption posed by the Corona Virus, Chinese tourism to North Korea has grown extensively throughout 2018 and 2019, with estimated 1000 tourists a day entering the DPRK.
The announcement marks a wider trend in the opening of flight routes to North Korea from Chinese destinations, occurring in tandem with growing local tour numbers, including new Air Koryo flights from Chengdu, Dalin, Macau and Xi’an commencing. These have supplemented the traditional routes of Beijing, Shenyang and Shanghai, as well as Vladivostok in Russia. A year ago a chartered flight from Hanoi to Pyongyang also commenced with the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong un in the city.