Hong Kong (CNN) — North Korean flag carrier Air Koryo will begin flying direct to the Chinese gambling enclave of Macao next month, the city’s aviation authority said.
Air Koryo will run the flights twice a week beginning August 2, according to the Macao Civil Aviation Authority said.
Macao authorities did not say what type of planes would be used. North Korea is believed to only operate five different aircraft for flights into China, said Simon Cockerell of Koryo Tours, a specialist travel company that helps Western tourists visit North Korea.
Macao has become one of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations in recent decades thanks in part to the massive investments in the city’s gaming industry. The city, which like neighboring Hong Kong is governed as a special administrative region, is the only place in China where casinos are legal.
The new route will connect the world’s most popular gambling destination by gambling revenue to one of the world’s poorest countries by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The new route will also likely concern authorities in Washington monitoring sanctions on North Korea as punishment for its nuclear weapons program, as Pyongyang has previously been accused of using the city as a hub for its illicit activity abroad.