North Korea 2016
Report of a visit to the first Wonsan Air Festival in North Korea. The first ever air show in North Korea that was open to foreigners.
When it was announced in February 2016 that an air show, the Wonsan Air International Friendship Festival, was to be held in North Korea, with the participation of units of the North Korean air force we all had to catch our breath. North Korea is one of those countries where it is not easy to visit and certainly not to take pictures of military aircraft. After examining it all turned out to be true but at such an early stage, there were still many uncertainties. On paper it looked good and the entire Air Koryo fleet would participate, as well as several military aircraft. The wheels were put into motion and our customers were already notified in the same week of this possible tour to check their interest. Many were very curious about this destination and wanted to join. There was enough interest to go ahead with the trip and at the end of February we started accepting bookings. Except for the air show one could also join for an extension with several touristic destinations in North Korea and China.
A total of 46 people from all over the world, ventured with 4Aviation on this adventure. Many travelled to Beijing by themselves, the assembly point for this tour to North Korea. The bulk of the group, however, gathered at Schiphol on Tuesday 20 September 2016 around noon. There we boarded an Airbus 330 from China Southern that brought us to the capital of China in over nine hours. There it was already Wednesday 21 September 2016, and our partner was waiting with a coach for the ride to the hotel. There we freshened up and immediately afterwards went to visit the Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City. The evening ended with a delicious meal. A few visited a preserved J-10 at the headquarters of AVIC on walking distance from the hotel.