Air Koryo

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Air Koryo
고려항공
Air Koryo New Logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
JS[1] KOR[1] AIR KORYO
Founded21 September 1955; 65 years ago (1955-09-21)
Pyongyang, North Korea
HubsPyongyang International Airport
Fleet size11
Destinations4
Parent companyGovernment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea[2]
HeadquartersRyongbung-ri, Sunan District, Pyongyang, North Korea North Korea
Key peopleAn Pyong-chil (Director of the General Bureau of Civil Aviation)[3]
Websitewww.airkoryo.com.kp
Air Koryo
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
Revised RomanizationGoryeo Hanggong
McCune–ReischauerKoryŏ Hanggong

Air Koryo (Korean고려항공; Hanja高麗航空; MRKoryŏ Hanggong) is the state-owned national airline of North Korea, headquartered in Sunan-guyŏk, Pyongyang.[4] Based at Pyongyang International Airport (IATA: FNJ),[5] it operates international scheduled and charter services to points in Asia.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

In early 1950, SOKAO (Soviet–North Korean Airline, СОКАО, Советско-Корейское авиатранспортное общество, 소련-조선항공; 蘇聯-朝鮮航空) was established as a joint North Korean-Soviet venture to connect Pyongyang with Moscow.[6][7] Regular flights began that same year.[8] Services were suspended during the Korean War, resuming in 1953 as UKAMPS (УКАМПС КНДР, Министерством путей сообщения Корейская Народно-Демократическая Республика, Ministry of Transport of DPRK, 조선교통성 민용항공국, 朝鮮交通省 民用航空局)[a]. The state airline was then placed under the control of the Civil Aviation Administration of Korea (CAAK), starting operations on 21 September 1955 with Lisunov Li-2, Antonov An-2 and Ilyushin Il-12 aircraft. Ilyushin Il-14s and Ilyushin Il-18s were added to the fleet in the 1960s.[5][7][9]

Jet operations 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.[citation needed] 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 are used in VIP configuration), allowing CAAK to offer a direct non-stop service to Moscow for the first time, as well as serving Sofia and Belgrade.[citation needed]

Expansion[edit]

Air Koryo office in Pyongyang
Interior of an Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-204

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe saw a vast reduction in the number of international services offered. CAAK, re-branded as Air Koryo in March 1992 and in 1993, ordered three 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 its aging international fleet. With the Tu-204, Air Koryo would be able to fly to Europe.[10][11]

Due to safety and maintenance concerns, Air Koryo was added to the list of air carriers banned in the European Union in March 2006. The European Commission found evidence of serious safety deficiencies on the part of Air Koryo during ramp inspections in France and Germany. Air Koryo persistently failed to address these issues during other subsequent ramp inspections performed by the EU under the SAFA programme, pointing to blatant systemic safety deficiencies at Air Koryo operations. The airline failed to reply to an inquiry by the French Civil Aviation Authority regarding its safety operations, pointing to a lack of transparency or communication on the part of Air Koryo. The plan by Air Koryo for corrective action, presented in response to France's request, was found to be inadequate and insufficient. The EC also held that North Korean authorities did not adequately oversee the flag carrier, which it was obliged to do under the Chicago Convention. Therefore, on the basis of the common criteria,[12] the Commission assessed that Air Koryo did not meet the relevant safety standards.[13]

In September 2009, Air Koryo ordered a further example of the Tupolev Tu-204-300 aircraft and a single Tupolev Tu-204-100. Air Koryo was to receive its first of two Tupolev Tu-204-100B aircraft fitted with 210 seats. Flights to Dalian, China, were added to the Air Koryo schedule. Also, twice weekly Tu-134 flights from Pyongyang and direct services from Pyongyang to Shanghai Pudong were inaugurated with a two weekly service on JS522 and returning on JS523[14][15] in 2010.[16]

In March 2010, Air Koryo was allowed to resume operations into the EU with their Tu-204 aircraft, which were fitted with the necessary equipment to comply with mandatory international standards. Currently, the Tu-204 is the only aircraft Air Koryo operates that is allowed into EU airspace.[17][18][19] In April 2011, Air Koryo launched its first services to Malaysia with the inauguration of flights from Pyongyang to Kuala Lumpur.[20] The flights operated twice a week utilizing the Tu-204, but were cancelled in mid-2017 due to sanctions imposed resulting from the poisoning murder of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport by suspected North Korean agents.[21]

In 2011, Air Koryo also inaugurated services to Kuwait City, being operated weekly by Tu-204 aircraft. The services operate during peak travel season – April to October.[22]

In 2012, Air Koryo resumed flights to Kuala Lumpur but ceased the service in 2014 along with its expansion into Harbin, China.[23][24] In 2012, Juche Travel Services, a company operating tours to North Korea, launched "aviation enthusiast" tours using chartered Air Koryo aircraft, which offered visitors the chance to fly on every variety of Air Koryo aircraft within North Korea, the Mil-17, An-24, Tu-134, Tu-154, and Il-62. The international services were operated by An-148, Tu-154, or Tu-204.[25]

In 2017, during the rule of North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un, there were signs that Air Koryo was branching out into commercial sectors beyond aviation, providing goods and services as diverse as petrol stations, taxis, tobacco, soft drinks, and tinned pheasant meat.[26][27]

Destinations[edit]

Scheduled services are only operated from Pyongyang to Beijing, Chongjin, Macau, Samjiyon, Shenyang, and Vladivostok; additional destinations not listed on their website but showing up elsewhere as charters or seasonal charter services are also included.[28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

The first regular charter flights between North Korea and South Korea began in 2003. The first Air Koryo flight operated by a 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.[35] Inter-Korean charters from Hamhung's Sondok Airport to Yangyang International in South Korea began in 2002.[36] Currently, there are no inter-Korean flights, due to laws in both countries. In 2014, Air Koryo operated a series of services to Seoul Incheon International Airport with Tu-204 and An-148 aircraft for the Asian Games.

Air Koryo operated an airline interline partnership with Aeroflot (SkyTeam) on services radiating from Vladivostok and Pyongyang until 2017 after it was forced to close the agreement due to newly imposed sanctions.[37][38]

Fleet[edit]

Current fleet[edit]

Air Koryo Antonov An-148
Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-204

Air Koryo operates the following fleet as of December 2020:[39]

Air Koryo fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Antonov An-148-100B 2 8 62 70
Ilyushin Il-62M 2 12 178 190 Last passenger airline to operate this aircraft[40]
2
VIP
Operated for the government of North Korea
Tupolev Tu-134B-3 1 76 76 Last passenger airline to operate this aircraft[41]
Tupolev Tu-154B 1 16 136 152 Last passenger airline to operate this aircraft
Tupolev Tu-204-100B 1 2 12 210 222 Former Red Wings Airlines aircraft acquired through a Kyrgyz shell company. Reg. RA-64046 and RA-64049.
Tupolev Tu-204-300 1 8 136 142
Air Koryo Cargo Fleet
Ilyushin Il-76TD[42] 1
Cargo
Total 11 2

Tupolev Tu-204[edit]

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 was the first Tupolev Tu-204-300 to be exported from Russia.[citation needed] 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, a Tu-204-100B, which they took delivery of on 4 March 2010. The Tu-204-300 is a shortened version of the Tu-204-100B.[43] It started operating scheduled services on 5 March 2010.[44] On 30 March 2010, the two Tupolev Tu-204 have been given the rights to operate into the European Union.[17] The two Tu-204 remain the only planes the airline is allowed to operate on services to the EU.[45]

Livery[edit]

The Air Koryo livery consists of a white and grey fuselage and a horizontal red stripe along the windows dividing the upper and lower parts into white and grey respectively. The Korean name Air Koryo is painted over the windows and a North Korean flag is painted on the vertical stabilizer.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ It was often abbreviated as 조선민항

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Air Koryo - IATA
  2. ^ https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/air-koryo-north-korea-dear-sky/index.html
  3. ^ "» Pyongyang Airport provides flight service worldwide". Korea-dpr.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Contact Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Air Koryo. Retrieved on 6 August 2009. "Democratic People's Republic of Korea P'yongyang – Head office Air Koryo Sunan District P'yongyang"
  5. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 59.
  6. ^ Davies, R. E. G. (1997). Airlines of Asia: Since 1920. London: Putnam. p. 534. ISBN 978-0-85177-855-6.
  7. ^ a b "World Airlines Survey". Flight International: 512. 13 April 1961. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  8. ^ MacDonald, Hugh (1975). Aėroflot: Soviet air transport since 1923. London: Putnam. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-370-00117-3.
  9. ^ "WORLD AIRLINES SURVEY". Flight International. IPC Transport Press Limited: 567. 10 April 1969. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  10. ^ Air Koryo Asian Info, Retrieved 25 January 2015
  11. ^ "North Korea's quirky (and unsafe) Air Koryo survives and, increasingly, appears to thrive". International Herald Tribune. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  12. ^ Fly Well portal Archived 25 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine (Which contains links to the common air transport policy), European Commission, 22 March 2006
  13. ^ Commission Regulation (EC) No 474/2006 of 22 March 2006 (PDF-file), European Commission, 22 March 2006
  14. ^ "North Korean Economy Watch » Blog Archive » Air Koryo launches Shanghai-Pyongyang flights". Nkeconwatch.com. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  15. ^ "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". dayout.com.cn. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  16. ^ "Photo ť P-814 (CN: 66368) Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-134 by LGY". Jetphotos.net. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  17. ^ a b "EU Bans All Airlines From Philippines, Sudan in New Blacklist". BusinessWeek. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 29 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Commission updates the list of airlines banned from the European airspace". Europa Press Release Database. 30 March 2010.
  19. ^ "EU Upholds Flight Ban". Radio Free Asia. 13 January 2010.
  20. ^ [1] Archived 26 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "North Korean leader's brother Kim Jong-nam killed in Malaysia". BBC News. 14 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Al – Malek International Group". Almalekint.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  23. ^ JL (23 February 2012). "Air Koryo to Start Pyongyang – Harbin Charter service from late-Apr 2012 | Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Airlineroute.net. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  24. ^ JL (19 March 2012). "Air Koryo S12 Operation Changes to Kuala Lumpur | Airline Route – Worldwide Airline Route Updates". Airlineroute.net. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  25. ^ Cripps, Karla (26 April 2016). "North Korea: Ultimate tour for aviation geeks". CNN Travel. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  26. ^ O'Carroll, Chad (6 June 2017). "N. Korean airline introduces tinned pheasant line, opens Pyongyang shop". NK News.
  27. ^ Harris, Bryan (2017). "North Korea begins journey from feudalism to crony capitalism". Financial Times. Retrieved 22 June 2017. Air Koryo, the national airline, which also runs one of Pyongyang’s handful of taxi companies and recently began selling tinned pheasant, also fits the bill.
  28. ^ "Air Koryo - The Official Webpage of the national airline of the DPRK". Korea-dpr.com. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  29. ^ "How to get to North Korea". Koreakonsult.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  30. ^ "Pyongyang-Khabarovsk flights running for 1st time in decade". Findarticles.com. 8 April 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  31. ^ "Photo ť P-881 (CN: 3647853) Air Koryo Ilyushin IL-62M by Pavel Adzhigildaev". Jetphotos.net. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  32. ^ "Airport Departures & Arrivals". Flightstats.com. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  33. ^ "Air Koryo - The Official Webpage of the national airline of the DPRK". Korea-dpr.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  34. ^ sutthisakw Sutthisak W (4 April 2009). "SjeiIf869718-02". Flickr. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  35. ^ "air koryo | 2003 | 2045 | Flight Archive". Flightglobal.com. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  36. ^ "N. Korean plane to test-fly direct air route with South". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. 20 July 2002.
  37. ^ "Booking search – Aeroflot". m.aeroflot.ru. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  38. ^ "Sanctions force Aeroflot to axe Air Koryo interline deal". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  39. ^ "✈ наша авиация" (in Russian). Russianplanes.net. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  40. ^ "✈ russianplanes.net ✈ наша авиация" [Il-62 Registry]. russianplanes.net (in Russian). Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  41. ^ "✈ russianplanes.net ✈ наша авиация" [Tu-134 Registry]. russianplanes.net (in Russian). Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved 24 April 2015.[dead link]
  43. ^ "Самолёт Ту-204-100В передан авиакомпании "Air Koryo" – Аргументы и Факты". Ul.aif.ru. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  44. ^ "bbs.feeyo.com". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
  45. ^ "List of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union" (PDF). European Commission for Transport. European Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  46. ^ "Aviation Safety Database report P-551". Aviation-safety.net. 30 June 1979. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  47. ^ "Aviation Safety Database report P-889". Aviation-safety.net. 1 July 1983. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  48. ^ "Around the World: 23 Killed in Guinea Crash of a North Korean Plane". The New York Times. UPI. 6 July 1983. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 6 January 2016.
  49. ^ "North Korean Air Koryo plane makes emergency landing in China". Reuters. 22 July 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mebius, Arthur (2017). Dear Sky: The Planes and People of North Korea's Airline. Breda: Eriskay Connection. ISBN 978-94-92051-30-1.

External links[edit]

Media related to Air Koryo at Wikimedia Commons