China and North Korea have signed an agreement to expand air traffic rights between the two countries.
A high-level delegation from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) was in Pyongyang from 2-6 December for talks, according to a CAAC statement.
“The new agreement expands the route table arrangements, increasing the number of designated carriers and capacity limits, and also called for strengthening exchanges and cooperation in flight standards and safety management,” says the CAAC.
The statement, however, failed to specify which Chinese carriers will now be cleared to fly to North Korea. Meanwhile, North Korea only has one airline: state-owned Air Koryo. FlightMaps Analytics shows that the only Chinese carrier serving Pyongyang is Air China.
North Korea has limited air connections to the outside world. FlightMaps shows that its capital city, Pyongyang, has flights to just three cities: Beijing, Shenyang, and the Russian city of Vladivostok.
For November 2013, FlightMaps shows Air Koryo as dominating inbound traffic to Pyongyang with a 77% capacity share, or 4,732 seats. Air Koryo operates Tupolev Tu-204/214 aircraft for international services, while Air China uses Boeing 737s.
Inbound capacity to Pyongyang