Air Koryo is basically the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea, headquartered in Sunan-guyok, Pyongyang. Pyongyang Sunan International Airport is considered the airline’s home base, and it operates international scheduled and charter services to points in Asia and Europe. Despite all the bad press, this airline has not suffered any fatal accidents in throughout its entire history. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
5. Commercial Flights Began in 1975
Jet operation commenced in 1975, when the first Tupolev Tu-154 was delivered for services from Pyongyang to Prague, East Berlin and Moscow. However, because the Tu-154 did not have sufficient range, the aircraft had to refuel at Irkutsk and Novosibirsk. Tu-134s and An-24s were also delivered to start domestic services.
4. Airline was Re-branded in 1992
The end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in East Europe saw a vast reduction in the number of international services offered. CAAK was re-branded as Air Koryo in March 1992 and in 1993, ordered 3 Ilyushin Il-76 freight aircraft to carry cargo to and from its destinations in China and Russia. Air Koryo purchased a Tupolev Tu-204-300 aircraft in December 2007 and another in March 2010 to replace the ageing international fleet. With the Tu-204, Air Koryo would be able to fly to Europe.
3. First Charter Flights Between North and South Korea Started in 2003
The first regular charter flights between North Korea and South Korea began in 2003. The first Air Koryo flight operated by a Tupolev Tu-154 touched down at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. Air Koryo operated 40 return services to Seoul, along with flights into Yangyang and Busan in South Korea.
2. They Have an Online Booking Service
In October 2012, the airline launched its first online booking service. During the first quarter of 2013, Air Koryo received their first Antonov An-148 aircraft, and their second in the fourth quarter of 2013.
1. Consistently Rated 1-Star
Air Koryo was the only one-star airline among 681 airlines rated and reviewed by the Skytrax service in 2014. Air Koryo had held this rating for four years in a row. Various guests also complained about the food, specifically the burger they serve, with guests stating that the burger looks unappetizing and the flyers do not have any knowledge where the meat comes from, and what it actually is.