KL International Airport (KLIA) welcomed another new airline, as Air Koryo, the national carrier of Democratic People Republic (DPR) Korea made its maiden landing at KLIA yesterday.

Effective 18 April, Air Koryo will fly twice weekly to Kuala Lumpur from the capital city of Pyongyang, on Mondays and Thursdays, utilising a TU-204 Next Generation Tupolev type of aircraft, with 142 seating capacity. For the inaugural flight yesterday, approximately 70 passengers from Pyongyang arrived at KLIA.

The inclusion of Air Koryo takes the total number of airlines operating at KLIA to 58. Air Koryo becomes the first airline to introduce direct schedule flights to Pyongyang from Kuala Lumpur.

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports said: “Malaysia Airports welcomes Air Koryo’s schedule operations to KLIA and wishes them all the best for this service. Its presence will not only increase the connectivity at KLIA but also establish a new direct service between DPR Korea and Malaysia.”

“Air Koryo has been operating charter flights to KLIA for the last few years. Now it has created sufficient market strength to start schedule operations and we are very happy with the new development.”

Tan Sri Bashir added, “Malaysia Airports is actively collaborating with the Government to ensure that we maximise the effectiveness of our marketing investment to attract new airlines and establish new routes.”

Mr. Han Song Il, General Manager of Air Koryo in Kuala Lumpur said: “This new destination will be a welcome addition to Air Koryo’s route expansion. Kuala Lumpur has been a much-anticipated destination and I am confident it will be a fruitful service for Air Koryo. Malaysians and Koreans alike can now enjoy the best of both countries through Air Koryo’s service.”

Air Koryo was founded on 21 September 1955 with the name Chosonminhang. It was renamed to Air Koryo in March 1992. Air Koryo’s networks cover Beijing and Shenyang in China, Vladivostok and Moscow (Russia), Bangkok (Thailand) and now Kuala Lumpur. The Inter governmental Air Route Agreement was signed between DPR Korea and Malaysia 20 years ago.

The airline became an affiliate member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on 21 October 1996.