|Founded||1950 (as Sokao)
1954 (as Chosonminhang Korean Airways)
|Hubs||Pyongyang Sunan International Airport|
|Fleet size||23 + 2 order|
|Headquarters||Pyongyang, North Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Goryeo Hanggong|
Air Koryo (Korean: 고려항공, Koryo Hanggong; formerly Chosŏn Minhang (조선민항)) is the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea, headquartered in Sunan-guyŏk, Pyongyang. Based at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (IATA: FNJ), it operates international scheduled and charter services to points in Asia and Europe.
Air Koryo has offices in Beijing, Shenyang, Macau, Bangkok, Toronto, Berlin, Moscow, as well as sales agencies in the United States, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
Air Koryo was established first under the name SOKAO, which was founded in 1950 as a joint North Korean-Soviet concern to connect Pyongyang with Moscow. Services were suspended during the Korean War, to resume in 1953. The current airline was established in 1954, started operations on 21 September 1955, and was placed under the control of the Civil Aviation Administration of Korea. 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 operations 
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 (two of these aircraft were used in VIP configuration), allowing CAAK to offer a direct non-stop service to Moscow for the first time. During this period, Sofia and Belgrade were also destinations. However, under current European Aviation Regulations, because of maintenance concerns and noise emissions, Air Koryo is forbidden from landing at any European airport with this type of aircraft under Convention rules specified in the article.
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 became Air Koryo in March 1992. 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[when?] purchased two new Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft to replace the aging international fleet. Air Koryo has also started modernizing its fleet interiors. With the new Tu-204, Air Koryo would be able to fly to Europe.
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. 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. Flights to Dalian, China, have been added to the Air Koryo schedule with a twice weekly Tu-134 flights from Pyongyang and direct services from Pyongyang to Shanghai Pudong have been inaugurated with a two weekly service via JS522 and returning on JS523 opened this year.
Restoration of flights to the European Union 
On March 30, 2010, Air Koryo had two Tu-204 aircraft lifted from the European blacklist, allowing the airline to recommence flights to the EU. But nonetheless, Air Koryo overall is still banned from flying in Europe.
New Service 
In 2011, Air Koryo inaugurated services to Kuala Lumpur and Kuwait City, both being operated weekly by Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft. The services operate during peak travel season- April to October.
In 2012, Air Koryo resumed services to Kuala Lumpur along with its expansion into Harbin, China. In the 2012, the carrier also launched its new travel package via Juche Travel Services, "aviation enthusiast" tours which offered the chance to fly on every variety of Air Koryo aircraft within North Korea on board the Il-76, Mil-17, An-24, Tu-134 and Tu-154. The international services were operated by inbound and out bound Tu-204 or Il-62.
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. Inter-Korean charters from Hamhung Airport to Yangyang International in South Korea began in 2002. Yangyang has since been suspended, as Yangyang International Airport was closed in late 2008, currently no inter-Korean flights run according to laws in both countries.
Air Koryo operates the following fleet as of February 16, 2013:
|Antonov An-24||7||0||0||52||52||5 An-24RV's and 2 An-24R's|
|Antonov An-148||1||1||8||62||70||Ordered as a part of fleet overhaul and modernization to replace aging models (Tu-134 & Tu-154)
P-671 delivered February 2013, further order P-672 under construction cn (04-02) 
|Ilyushin Il-62M||5||0||16||164||180||1 stored ex-Cubana (P-886P) will be used for spares & 2 operated in VIP configuration for the state (P-618 & P-886)|
|Tupolev Tu-134B-3||2||0||0||84||84||Replacement aircraft An-148|
|Tupolev Tu-154||2||0||16||136||152||1 Tu-154B (P-552) and 1 Tu-154B-2 (P-651)
2 previously withdrawn from use (P-551 & P-553)
|Air Koryo Cargo Fleet|
|Ilyushin Il-18V||1||0||14.5 Tons cargo|
|Ilyushin Il-76TD||3||0||44 Tons cargo|
|Mil Mi-17||n/a||0||Unknown numbers operating solely for cargo operations|
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. Possibilities of services to New York JFK Airport would be operated by Ilyushin Il-96 aircraft. The Tupolev Tu-204s are capable of flying to Moscow non-stop. Air Koryo have also installed LCD screens in their Tu-204s which now show safety demonstrations and films. Moreover, Air Koryo has purchased new airport low-floor buses.
In a recent[when?] Airliner World magazine, it was reported that 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, which rights to enter the EU airspace were granted by the EU authorities in April 2010, after a 7-year period of being banned from EU airspace. In April 2011, Air Koryo launched its first services to Malaysia with the inauguration of flights from Pyongyang to Kuala Lumpur. The flights operate twice a week with Tu-204 aircraft. Along with the new services to Kuala Lumpur, Air Koryo has also inaugurated links to Kuwait city operated weekly.
In October 2012, the airline launched its first online booking service. On the first quarter of 2013, Air Koryo will be receiving their first Antonov An-148 aircraft with the addition of a second frame on order.
Tupolev Tu-204 
The first Tupolev Tu-204-300 for Air Koryo was officially handed over to the carrier on 27 December 2007, and was ferried from Ulyanovsk to Pyongyang. It has been fitted out with 16 business class seats and the remaining 150 seats are economy. This is the first Tupolev Tu-204-300 to be exported out of Russia.
The Tu-204 aircraft are currently scheduled on all international flights out of Pyongyang. With the arrival of the new aircraft, a new seasonal route to Singapore was introduced and the resumption of the Pyongyang-Bangkok route commenced in 2008. Its first revenue-earning flight was made on 8 May 2008. Air Koryo operates another version of the Tu-204 jet, being the Tu-204-100B, which is a longer version of their Tu-204-300. According to Avistar, Air Koryo will be taking delivery of a second Tupolev Tu-204-100B which is being constructed at Ulyanovsk and which is currently registered as RA-64013.
On 30 March 2010, the two Tupolev Tu-204 have been given the rights to operate into the European Union. The planned services to Germany could be resumed again with any of the two aircraft.
Accidents and incidents 
- On 1 July 1983, a CAAK (predecessor to Air Koryo) Ilyushin Il-62M on a non-scheduled international passenger flight from Pyongyang, North Korea (Pyongyang Sunan International Airport) to Conakry, Guinea (Conakry International Airport) crashed at the Fouta Djall Mountains in Guinea. All 23 people on board were killed, and the aircraft was written off.
- On 15 August 2006, an aircraft from Air Koryo (Tupolev Tu-154B-2) on an international scheduled passenger flight from Beijing, People's Republic of China (Beijing Capital Airport) to Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Sunan International Airport) experienced a runway mishap (exited runway) during landing rollout after landing in bad weather at Sunan International Airport. No injuries were reported and damage to the plane was minor. On the same day, an Air Koryo Il-62M flying from the Chinese capital Beijing on a regular passenger flight sustained damage to a wing whilst landing at Pyongyang. Following a missed first approach, the crew made a second landing attempt during which part of the left wing of the Ilyushin contacted the runway. There were no injuries and the registration of the aircraft was not reported. Although, it is still technically banned in the EU.
- On 1 March 2013, an Air Koryo Tu-204-100B, registration P-633, operating a Pyongyang-Vladivostok passenger service overran the runway while landing at Vladivostok International Airport. There were no injuries reported among the 176 passengers. Weather conditions were good at the time. The aircraft was towed but damage was reported to be minimal.
European Union ban 
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (February 2011)|
As of 30 March 2010, the EU will allow Air Koryo to operate into the European Union once again with two approved aircraft. The two aircraft will be Air Koryo's new Tupolev Tu-204s, registrations P-632 and P-633. The remaining fleet will continue to be barred from EU airspace and rights to land in the EU.
The rationale for the ban by the European Commission was the following (paraphrased):
- During ramp inspections in France and Germany, verified evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Air Koryo was obtained. 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 inquiry 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 a 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, the Commission assessed that Air Koryo does not meet the relevant safety standards.
A Tupolev Tu-204 (P-632) being prepared for departure at FNJ
Ramp area at FNJ
Passengers boarding a Tupolev Tu-204 at FNJ
Pyongyang Sunan International Airport, Air Koryo's main hub
Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-204 (P-632) at Beijing Capital Airport
See also 
- "» Pyongyang Airport provides flight service worldwide". Korea-dpr.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Contact." Air Koryo. Retrieved on 6 August 2009. "Democratic People's Republic of Korea P'yongyang – Head office Air Koryo Sunan District P'yongyang"
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 59.
- "'World's worst airline' launches online booking". Telegraph. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "North Korea's quirky (and unsafe) Air Koryo survives and, increasingly, appears to thrive". International Herald Tribune. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "North Korean Economy Watch » Blog Archive » Air Koryo launches Shanghai-Pyongyang flights". Nkeconwatch.com. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "2010年*上海=平壤8月散客*出团计划 行行摄摄 旅游摄影 出行旅游论坛". www.dayout.com.cn. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Photo ť P-814 (CN: 66368) Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-134 by LGY". Jetphotos.net. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Air Koryo allowed two aircraft in EU – 30/03/2010". Europa.eu. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Al - Malek International Group". Almalekint.com. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "air koryo | 2003 | 2045 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "N. Korean plane to test-fly direct air route with South". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 20 July 2002.
- Aircrafspotting.net Aviation News September 2006[dead link]
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "Самолёт Ту-204-100В передан авиакомпании "Air Koryo" – Аргументы и Факты". Ul.aif.ru. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Post a Job (30 March 2010). "EU Bans All Airlines From Philippines, Sudan in New Blacklist". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- "Aviation Safety Database report". Aviation-safety.net. 1 July 1983. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- FCO Country report – 15 August 2006 Tu 154 crash
- "Aviation Safety Database report – 15 August 2006 Tupolev 154 crash". Aviation-safety.net. 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "North Korean Air Koryo Ilyushin Il-62 damaged in Pyongyang landing incident". Flightglobal.com. 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2012-10-25.
- "Aviation Safety Database report". Aviation-safety.net. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "EU Upholds Flight Ban". Radio Free Asia. 13 January 2010.
- Fly Well portal (Which contains links to the common air transport policy)(English), European Commission, 22 March 2006
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006 (PDF-file)(English), European Commission, 22 March 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Air Koryo|
- Official website of Air Koryo
- Collection of Air Koryo Photographs
- Swiss Website of Air Koryo at the Korean Friendship Association website Switzerland Delegation
- Air Koryo at the Aviation Safety Network Database
- CAAK (predecessor) at the Aviation Safety Network Database
- Air Koryo Timetable 31/10/1999 to 26/3/2000 at angelfire.com
- Air Koryo photo gallery at www.airliners.net
- Air Koryo (unofficial) Facebook page at Facebook