Another flight operated by Air Koryo, North Korea's national carrier, arrived in Beijing on Saturday, marking the resumption of regular passenger flights connecting the two countries after they were halted for more than three years due to the pandemic.
China recently announced its approval of Koryo Air's schedule between the two countries' capitals, offering three flights per week, in a sign the border has reopened after international flights from and to the North were suspended in January 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously, two Air Koryo planes had arrived in Beijing on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively, and carried about 400 North Koreans who were staying in China during the pandemic back home.
On Saturday, another Air Koryo plane, flight number JS151, departed from Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport and arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport at about 9:20 a.m., marking the full resumption of the three flights per week schedule.
As with the previous two flights, few passengers were aboard the plane when it arrived in Beijing, but more than 100 people checked in for the return flight to Pyongyang, which was scheduled to take off at around 1 p.m. The passengers arrived at the Beijing airport in several buses bearing diplomatic license plates belonging to the North Korean Embassy.
The crowd included people of various age groups, from children to seniors, as well as a group of women who appeared to be in their 20s or 30s.
In another sign that the border is reopening, North Korean buses carrying dozens of North Korean taekwondo athletes crossed a bridge linking North Korea's Sinuiju to China's Dandong on Aug. 16 on the athletes' way to participate in the ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Source: Yonhap News Agency