North Korea’s Air Koryo Seen on the International Stage

North Korea's Air Koryo Seen on the International Stage
Fedor Leukhin, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Over the course of this week, North Korea’s Air Koryo has been seen on the international stage through the resumption of flights to Vladivostok & Beijing.

Air Koryo’s First International Flight Resumption: Beijing!…

North Korea's Air Koryo Seen on the International Stage
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The first international flight took place on August 22, where JS151 flew to Beijing from Pyongyang, North Korea.

It departed at 0834 local time, and arrived into the Chinese capital at 0915 local the same day.

This particular flight was operated by P-633, one of the two Tupolev TU-204s in the fleet, as per data from

According to Aviation24, it has been reported that this flight caused speculation, with this particular flight being for any of the following reasons:

  • Collecting North Korean citizens who couldn’t return due to the pandemic.
  • Transporting North Korean officials to Beijing.
  • Return flight was taking embassy officials back to Pyongyang.


The Second Flight for The Carrier of North Korea: Vladivostok!…

Data provided by

The second flight took place on Friday morning at 0849 local time, using its other Tupolev aircraft, registered as P-632.

It arrived into Vladivostok at 1123 local time that same day, with Aviation24 also reporting that due to the flights not being officially announced, no passengers flew on this particular flight.

However, on the return leg, passengers were seen in the Russian destination boarding for the flight back to North Korea’s capital.

At the time of writing (25/8/23 @ 2015 UK time), the aircraft landed back in Pyongyang around 15 hours ago.

Also, no other flights have operated to these two destinations, but of course over the weekend and onwards, this could change.

We will never know the official reason for these international flights, but they are the first to happen in three years. A very interesting prospect indeed.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 2 Min Read
2 Min Read
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