Air Koryo: Wikis


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Air Koryo
Founded 1954 (as Chosonminhang Korean Airways)
Hubs Sunan International Airport
Fleet size 44~ (+1 order)
Destinations 12
Headquarters Pyongyang, North Korea
Key people Kang Ki Sop (Director General of the General Civil Aviation Administration of the DPRK)
An Pyong Chil (director of the General Bureau of Civil Aviation )[1]
Air Koryo
Chosŏn'gŭl 고려항공
Hancha 高麗航空
McCune–Reischauer Koryŏ Hanggong
Revised Romanization Goryeo Hanggong

Air Koryo Korean Airways (formerly Chosŏn Minhang (조선민항 | Корё Ханггонг (Koryo Khanggong)), short form Air Koryo) is the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea, headquartered in Sunan-guyŏk, Pyongyang.[2] It operates international services and charter flights to points in Asia and Africa. It has flights from Sunan International Airport.[3]

Air Koryo has offices in Beijing, Shenyang, Macau, Bangkok, Toronto, Berlin, Mexico City, Moscow, as well as sales agencies in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore[4], Tokyo, Taipei, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.

The airline is on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union thus they are not permitted to operate services to countries in the EU because they do not meet international safety standards.[5]



Il-76, Tu-204, Il-62, Tu-154 and Tu-134 of Air Koryo at Sunan International Airport in September 2008.

The airline was established in 1954 and started operations on 21 September 1955. It was formerly known as Civil Aviation Administration Korea (CAAK) which succeeded SOKAO, the joint Soviet-North Korean airline established in 1950[3]. CAAK began operations with Lisunov Li-2, Antonov An-2 and Ilyushin Il-12 aircraft. Ilyushin Il-14 and Ilyushin Il-18 turboprops were added to the fleet in the 1960s.

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 the sufficient range, the plane had to land not only at Irkutsk, but also at Novosibirsk. Along with the Tu-154, Tu-134s and An-24s were delivered to start domestic services. The Tu-154 fleet was increased at the start of the 1980s and the first Ilyushin Il-62 was delivered in 1982, allowing CAAK to offer a direct non-stop service to Moscow for the first time. During this period Sofia and Belgrade were also destinations.

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in Europe saw a vast reduction in the number of international services offered. CAAK became Air Koryo in 1993. Also in 1993 Air Koryo ordered 3 Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft to carry extra cargo to its destinations in China and Russia. Air Koryo recently purchased 2 new Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft to replace the aging international fleet.[6] The airline is dubbed Air Scaryo by members of the international community in Pyongyang who have to enter and leave North Korea by air. Air Koryo has also started modernizing its fleet interiors. With the new Tu-204 Air Koryo would be able to fly to Europe or Moscow.

In September 2009 Air Koryo opted to order a further example of the Tu-204-300 aircraft and in addition a single Tupolev Tu-204-100. These aircraft will see to the replacement of aging aircraft in their current fleet. Air Koryo is also in talks over possible orders for Sukhoi Superjet 100 to replace the aging Tu-134 and An-24 aircraft.

Air Koryo will be receiving its first of two Tupolev Tu-204-100B aircraft fitted with 210 seats. The aircraft will be used to replace the aging aircraft currently in their fleet. Flights to Dalian, China have been added to the Air Koryo schedule with a twice weekly Tu-134 flights from Pyongyang opened this year.[7]



From an Air Koryo 1999-2000 timetable, relatively common destinations for charter flights include Shenzhen (JS137/138) and Macau (JS187/188, Flew on Mondays and Fridays); however, occasional ad-hoc charter flights, mostly on diplomatic or freight duties, have served Moscow (JS215/216, Flew on Thursdays), Sofia (JS217/218, Flew on Mondays), Zurich, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam, New York City [20], Seoul (JS815/816 and 817/818), Busan, Yangyang (JS801/802) and some Japanese cities, mostly Nagoya (JS831/832) (NKM, Aichi Prefecture Nagoya Airfield).[citation needed]

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.[21]

Air Koryo also operates additional flights to Shenyang and Beijing during the Chinese New Year with Tu-154's and Tu-134's. Air Koryo has also recently upgraded flights to Vladivostok and Shenyang with Il-62's and Tu-204's [22]

Inter-Korean charters from Hamhung Airport to Yangyang International in South Korea began in 2002.[23]

List of Charter destinations-

Domestic services

As North Korea's sole aviation entity, Air Koryo is also responsible for the transportation of government officials. However, Air Koryo offers domestic charter services and scheduled flights to the larger North Korean cities with the An-24 and Mil-17 aircraft, flying foreign tourists from Pyongyang to Samjiyon for tours to Baekdu-san as well as charter flights on behalf of government to destinations such as [24]


Air Koryo's Ilyushin Il-62M jetliner at Sunan International Airport.

Air Koryo operates the following aircraft (at 4 January 2010):[25]

Air Koryo Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Routes Notes Registrations
Antonov An-24 7 0 50 Domestic/regional Five An-24RV's and two An-24R's P-527, P-532, P-533, P-534 [26]
Ilyushin Il-18D 1 0 120 Vladivostok, Russia and domestic Planned for retirement in 2010 P-835
Ilyushin Il-62M 4 0 1801 Beijing, Shenyang, Vladivostok, Bangkok and Moscow [27]
High Yield and Long-haul routes
One operated in VIP configuration P-618, P-881 , P-882, P-885
Mil Mi-172 17 [28] 0 32 Domestic/regional Operated from regional airports P-101, P-102, P-103, P-104
Unknown numbers of helicopters in Air Koryo livery (government owned)
Tupolev Tu-154[29] 4 0 1421 China, Russia, Japan and South Korea
Medium and Short Haul
One Tu-154B2 and three Tu-154B's P-551, P-552, P-553, P-561
Tupolev Tu-134B-3 3 0 84 China, Russia and government charters, Dalian
Short Haul
Likely to be replaced by new regional jets P-812, P-813, P-814
Tupolev Tu-204-300 1 1 1521 Beijing, Bangkok [14][15] ,Shenyang, Vladivostok and Singapore [seasonal]
Medium Haul
One on order P-632 and P-63-
Tupolev Tu-204-100B 0 1 2101[30] T.B.A
Medium Haul
To be delivered next month[31] P-633 [31]
Air Koryo Cargo Fleet
Aircraft Total capacity
Routes Notes
Ilyushin Il-18V [32] 1 34.5 Tons cargo Regional and medium-haul routes
China and Russia
Ilyushin IL-76MD 3 44 Tons cargo Charter work also catered for P-912, P-913, P-914
Mil Mi-17 15 [33] Domestic and regional routes P-101, P-102, P-103, P-104
Unknown numbers operating solely for cargo operations
  • ^1 Air Koryo only offers Business class seating on these specific aircraft types


Air Koryo is searching for new aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-era planes. The new planes would be Russian-made, given the existence of sanctions from the US and the EU . Air Koryo is considering the Ilyushin Il-96, Tupolev Tu-204 (which have already been ordered) and Sukhoi Superjet 100s to replace their Tupolev Tu-154 and Tu-134 aircraft. The Tupolev Tu-204s are capable of flying to Moscow non-stop.[34] Air Koryo have also installed LCD screens in their Tu-204's which now show safety demonstrations and movies. Air Koryo also have purchased new airport low floor buses. In the recent Airliner world magazine Air Koryo will be trying to gain EU certification to fly into EU airspace. This would give Air Koryo the chance to resume scheduled flights to Berlin in the future.

Tupolev Tu-204

The first Tupolev Tu-204-300 for Air Koryo was officially handed over to the carrier on December 27, 2007, and was ferried from Ulyanovsk to Pyongyang. It has been fitted out with 8 business class seats and the remaining 145 seats are economy.[35] This is the first Tupolev Tu-204-300 to be exported out of Russia, and Air Koryo has a firm order for another one.

The Tu-204-300, is now operating on the Pyongyang-Beijing, Pyongyang-Singapore (seasonal), Pyongyang-Shenyang and Pyongyang-Bangkok routes (which was resumed by the newly delivered tupolev jet in 2007[15]). Its first revenue earning flight was made on May 8, 2008. The range of the Tu-204-300 means Air Koryo can start flights to Tehran which is in planning. Rumour has spread that Air Koryo has ordered another version of the Tu-204 jet being the Tu-204-100 which is a longer version of their currently operated Tu-204-300.


Banned in the European Union

Air Koryo is on the list of air carriers banned in the European Union.[39]

The rationale for the decision by the European Commission was the following (paraphrased):

  • During ramp inspections in France and Germany there was obtained verified evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Air Koryo. These deficiencies were also identified under the SAFA programme (DGAC/F 2000-2010).
  • During other subsequent ramp inspections performed under the SAFA programme Air Koryo persistently failed to address these deficiencies which were previously communicated by France (DGAC/F-2000-895).
  • Incident-related information of a substantiated and serious nature communicated by France indicated that Air Koryo had latent systemic safety deficiencies.
  • There was a demonstrated lack of ability on the part of Air Koryo to address these safety deficiencies.
  • There was a failure on the part of Air Koryo to respond adequately and in a timely manner to an enquiry by the civil aviation authority of France regarding the safety aspect of its operation, which showed a lack of transparency or communication, which was also demonstrated by the absence of reply to a request by France.
  • The plan for corrective action presented by Air Koryo in response to France's request was not adequate and sufficient in order to correct the identified serious safety deficiencies.
  • The authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with responsibility for regulatory oversight have not exercised an adequate oversight over Air Koryo, which it is obliged to do under the Chicago Convention.
  • Therefore and on the basis of the common criteria[40] the Commission assessed that Air Koryo does not meet the relevant safety standards.[41]

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Contact." Air Koryo. Retrieved on August 6, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 59. 2007-03-27. 
  4. ^ Air Ticketing - The General Sales Agent of Singapore for Air Koryo
  5. ^ Air Travel - Travel advice to North Korea (UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office)
  6. ^ North Korea's quirky (and unsafe) Air Koryo survives and, increasingly, appears to thrive
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ with IL8 equipment cargo flights)
  9. ^ a b c d
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b c
  16. ^ a b c d e f g "North Korea's quirky Air Koryo survives and, increasingly, appears to thrive". Associated Press/International Herald Tribune. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ 1991 time table
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Customer reviews on Air Koryo
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Air Koryo(JS)'s Destination 高麗航空的目的地". Archived from the original on 2009-10-24. 
  25. ^ Airline recognition guide by Gunter Endres and Graham Edwards.P 65 Air Koryo
  26. ^ AIR KORYO YN7 BJS RF 685 19.jpg photo - Rob Finlayson photos at
  27. ^
  28. ^ Kerala, Kerala News, Kerala Hotels, Kerala Travel, Kerala Classifieds, India -
  29. ^ Photo Air Koryo Ilyushin IL-62 P-885
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^ Photos: Ilyushin Il-18V Aircraft Pictures |
  33. ^ Kerala, Kerala News, Kerala Hotels, Kerala Travel, Kerala Classifieds, India -
  34. ^ Aviation News September 2006
  35. ^ DPRK Studies » Blog Archive » Air Koryo Prepares Russian TU-204-300 Airliner for Service
  36. ^ Aviation Safety Database report
  37. ^ FCO Country report - August 15 2006 Tu 154 crash
  38. ^ Aviation Safety Database report - August 15 2006 Tupolev 154 crash
  39. ^ "EU Upholds Flight Ban". Radio Free Asia. January 13, 2010. 
  40. ^ Fly Well portal (Which contains links to the common air transport policy)(English), European Commission, March 22, 2006
  41. ^ Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006 (PDF-file)(English), European Commission, March 22, 2006


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