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Start of the Inter-Korean Commercial Airliners` Operation.

Start of the Inter-Korean Commercial Airliners` Operation.

Posted September. 08, 2003 23:06,   


Commercial airliners will start operating between South Korea and North korea from Sep. 15.

The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said on Sep.8 that Pyonghwa Air and Tourism (Pyonghwa Tour), which is an affiliate of Pyonghwa Motors, decided to operated an airplane of North Korean flag-carrier `Korea Civil Air` from Sep. 15, boarding 128 general tourists at the Inchon International Airport at 10:30.

There were some limited cases of people from the North and South using airplanes to visit each side for family reunions or North-South, but it is the first time for general public to get onboard to the North just for tourism.

Pyonghwa Tour requested the Ministry of Construction and Transportation to allow Korea Civil Air to operate and charge fares in South Korea. The Ministry plans to approve the request at least by Sep. 9, unless some specialties occur

Chief of the International Air Transportation Division at the Ministry, Goo Bon-hwan said “As both countries are already members to the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) and have signed onto the Convention on International Civil Aviation, we can strike an aviations agreement following international norms and practices.” He also added, “we have fully reviewed the project plan of Pyonghwa Tour, so there would not be much problems in issuing approval.”

Pyonghwa Tour has already developed a five-day tour package (2.2-2.3million won per person) with a plan to transport about 2000 tourists by Dec. 25.

Park Se-jin, a department chief of the tour company said, “during this period we plan to operate around 20 round-trips using direct line between Seoul and Pyongyang.”

Pyonghwa Tour is a subsidy of Pyonghwa Group that has played a leadership role in carrying out the North-South projects, and it said that it had sold tour package of visiting Pyongyang via China last year.

The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said that when the each side visited one another through air routes since 2000, South Korea`s Korean Air and Asiana Airlines operated for 43 times and North Korea`s Korea Civil Air for 31 times but they were all for non-commercial purposes.

Jae-Seong Hwang jsonhng@donga.com