North Korea’s request for new air routes could change East Asia’s flight business

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As part of its strategic opening to the world, North Korea has submitted a request for the approval of new international air routes with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a South Korean newspaper has reported.

Approval for new routes could substantially change the industry landscape for the airline business in East and Southeast Asia, experts noted, since North Korea’s state airline Air Koryo could position itself as a budget airline and offer regional as well as medium- and long-haul flights to destinations where its current fleet of Ilyushin and Tupolev jets can obtain landing rights.

The airline’s current scheduled international destinations are Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang, as well as Vladivostok in Russia, It also operates charter flights to a few second-tier Chinese cities,

Upon hearing the news from the ICAO, the relevant agencies in South Korea have begun discussing and reviewing the matter, reported Dong-A Ilbo.

“North Korea requested opening of air routes that enable it to travel to multiple regions,” an ICAO official said in a written interview with the paper.

“We need cooperation from our member countries in the Asia-Pacific, European and the North Atlantic regions,” the official added.

But the ICAO did not reveal details on the air routes North Korea wants to open. An official with the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the ministry was conducting an internal review as the routes North Korean had in mind would involve flying through South Korea’s airspace.

Meanwhile, North Korea said it is willing to open its Flight Information Region (FIR) to South Korea, Dong-A Ilbo wrote.

The aviation industry says the opening of North Korea’s FIR will help South Korean airliners save close to $15 million a year in gas because currently, South Korean aircraft have to make a detour around North Korea when flying to the US and Russia.

If they are allowed to pass through North Korea’s air space, they can slash 200 to 500 kilometers in flight distance for long-haul flights from Incheon to the US.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As part of its strategic opening to the world, North Korea has submitted a request for the approval of new international air routes with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a South Korean newspaper has reported.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As part of its strategic opening to the world, North Korea has submitted a request for the approval of new international air routes with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a South Korean newspaper has reported.

Approval for new routes could substantially change the industry landscape for the airline business in East and Southeast Asia, experts noted, since North Korea’s state airline Air Koryo could position itself as a budget airline and offer regional as well as medium- and long-haul flights to destinations where its current fleet of Ilyushin and Tupolev jets can obtain landing rights.

The airline’s current scheduled international destinations are Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang, as well as Vladivostok in Russia, It also operates charter flights to a few second-tier Chinese cities,

Upon hearing the news from the ICAO, the relevant agencies in South Korea have begun discussing and reviewing the matter, reported Dong-A Ilbo.

“North Korea requested opening of air routes that enable it to travel to multiple regions,” an ICAO official said in a written interview with the paper.

“We need cooperation from our member countries in the Asia-Pacific, European and the North Atlantic regions,” the official added.

But the ICAO did not reveal details on the air routes North Korea wants to open. An official with the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the ministry was conducting an internal review as the routes North Korean had in mind would involve flying through South Korea’s airspace.

Meanwhile, North Korea said it is willing to open its Flight Information Region (FIR) to South Korea, Dong-A Ilbo wrote.

The aviation industry says the opening of North Korea’s FIR will help South Korean airliners save close to $15 million a year in gas because currently, South Korean aircraft have to make a detour around North Korea when flying to the US and Russia.

If they are allowed to pass through North Korea’s air space, they can slash 200 to 500 kilometers in flight distance for long-haul flights from Incheon to the US.

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