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N. Korea's Air Koryo operated chartered plane between Pyongyang, Jinan: VOA

All News 13:39 June 01, 2016

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's national carrier Air Koryo operated a chartered plane on Tuesday between Pyongyang and China's east city of Jinan, for what appears to be the transport of Chinese tourists, a news media report said Wednesday.

According to the website of the Yaoqiang International Airport in Jinan, the chartered flight from Pyongyang arrived in the Chinese airport at 4:35 p.m. and left for the North Korean capital at 6:59 p.m., the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) reported.

The VOA speculated that the North Korean jet may have been transporting Chinese tourists to the reclusive country.

Jinan's Yaoqiang International Airport serves Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province.

The chartered plane Air Koryo used was An-148 from Ukraine's Antonov Aviation that seats some 80 passengers.

North Korea is currently operating regular flights between Pyongyang and the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang. The North's latest flight service to Jinan marks a first for the airline, the VOA said.

The North Korean national carrier last month operated chartered planes two times to the east Chinese city of Qingdao to transport Chinese tourists.

Chinese media, meanwhile, said recently that the North Korean flag carrier will operate a regular flight between Pyongyang and Qingdao two times a week starting next month. According to the VOA, the Qingdao airport has already conducted a market survey related to North Korean air travel.

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