Spanish online travel agency Destinia is allowing users to make bookings for flights on North Korean state-owned airline Air Koryo, a Destinia spokesperson confirmed to NK News on Wednesday.
According to a press release on Global Travel Industry News, the website has commenced selling routes from Pyongyang to Shenyang, China and from Pyongyang to Vladivostok.
The site is also selling flights from Pyongyang to Beijing, previously exclusively sold by Air China.
The flights have been available since Tuesday, Destinia CEO Amuda Goueli told NK News in an e-mail, and it was Destinia which approached Air Koryo to start selling the airline’s flights.
“Since we launched travel packages from Spain to North Korea last summer (in 2013) we notice that searches for flights to Pyongyang increased so Victor Oliva, our Flight Product Manager, started to investigate last May who flies there,” he said.
Destinia chose Air Koryo, he said, “because no one else sells their flights”, and the company got in contact with the state-run airline’s offices in Berlin to begin negotiations.
Goueli also says the company “are open to extend the portfolio of routes in the future” beyond the flights currently available on the website.
When asked about the ethical implications of working with a company run by the North Korean government, Goueli said “we love to say that we are different”.
“We offer flights to space, we accept bitcoin payments and since last year, we offer holidays in North Korea,” he added, “it was not easy”.
“Of course we are aware about the political situation of the country but we believe that tourism helps to open minds, cultures and to join people”.
Photo credit: Wikimedia commons
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 308 words of this article.