The Federal Air Transport Agency has invited Russian air carriers to begin operating regular flights to North Korea, Kommersant reports.
According to the publication, a corresponding proposal was received by Aeroflot and Aurora, and the latter confirmed its “theoretical readiness” for such flights. Journalists also found out that in mid-November, a delegation from the Federal Air Transport Agency visited North Korea to coordinate this initiative with the DPRK Civil Aviation Administration.
At the same time, the newspaper notes that Russian tour operators have not yet received requests to restore tours to the DPRK. In turn, experts interviewed by the publication believe that flights to Pyongyang will be of a business and business nature.
“In the new foreign policy realities, Russia is forming new partnerships, the construction and development of which is not very comfortable without direct flights from Moscow. The main interests of such flights—from business and political circles—are in Moscow,” explained Oleg Panteleev, head of the AviaPort analytical center.
He also noted that Russian airlines do not have narrow-body long-haul aircraft capable of performing non-stop flights between the capitals of the two countries, and wide-body aircraft “will not be able to provide adequate loading for high-frequency traffic.” Thus, the expert believes, at this stage there is a discussion about launching flights with a connection in Vladivostok.
Aeroflot, Rosaviation and the Ministry of Transport declined to comment to the publication. The head of Aurora, Konstantin Sukhorebrik, told the newspaper that the carrier confirmed to the Federal Air Transport Agency “the technical feasibility of starting flights from Vladivostok.”
Kommersant recalls that air traffic between the Russian Federation and the DPRK was restored at the end of August. Currently, the North Korean airline Air Koryo operates flights to Vladivostok twice a week.
Russia and North Korea have begun to move closer amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thus, in July, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu visited the DPRK, and in September, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited Russia. After this, the analytical project Beyond Parallel reported that the volume of cargo transportation between Russia and North Korea has increased sharply.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited North Korea in October, days after the White House announced that North Korea had begun supplying ammunition to the Russian army.
In November, Bloomberg wrote, citing South Korean intelligence, that since August the DPRK had sent more than a million artillery shells to Russia. At the same time, the Associated Press reported that North Korea could transfer ballistic missiles to Russia.
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