Spring Airlines in China has announced that it is set to become the very first budget airline to offer flights to North Korea. The airline company has already applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China to start making regular flights to the country.

The application is still awaiting approval, but assuming it goes through, Spring Airlines will become one of the first airlines to make scheduled trips to the highly secluded and secretive country.

The airline has requested permission from the Civil Aviation Administration of China to fly to the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang up to four times per week. The flights will be flown out of the major Chinese city of Shanghai, and will take place on a A320-200 aircraft.

The head of public relations at Spring Airlines Mao Yi said, “We expect the flights to meet the large demand for visiting Pyongyang.”

Mao refused to inform reporters of the current status of the application. Listed companies in China typically refuse to discuss applications that are still awaiting regulatory approval. The Civil Aviation Administration of China is expected to make a decision on the matter before the end of the year.

Representatives from Spring Airlines have said that they hope for the flights to begin in February of next year. The announcement of the application submission was made on the website of Spring Airlines.

Assuming that the request is approved, Spring Airlines would become the first Chinese airline to fly from Shanghai to Pyongyang. At the present time, Air China offers flights from Beijing to Pyongyang.

If approved, the flights would help Asia’s largest budget airline by market value become the first Chinese carrier to fly to Pyongyang from Shanghai. Currently, Air China Ltd. offers flights to the North Korean capital from Beijing. Another airline, AirKoryo, also offers flights to North Korea.

Spring Airlines was founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Zhenghua.

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