(formerly called Choson Minhang
) is the national airline
of North Korea
. If you're planning on traveling to the North, you'll probably end up flying on Air Koryo at some point.
"Wait a minute... you can just go there?" Yes, you can. If you happen to be using an American or South Korean passport, you probably won't be able to get a visa: otherwise, it's not that difficult to plan your next vacation for North Korea, and if communism interests you, it's a great opportunity to see it in its purest living form. (Some Americans have managed to slip into North Korea by joining Japanese or Chinese tour groups: YMMV.)
Like Aeroflot and CAAC before it, Air Koryo is the only civil aviation entity in the country. It owns all of North Korea's non-military aircraft, which, at last count, is:
4 Ilyushin Il-62 (long-range airliner)
2 Tupolev Tu-134 (short-range airliner)
2 Tupolev Tu-154 (medium-range airliner)
2 Ilyushin Il-18 (puddle-jumper)
3 Ilyushin Il-76 (cargo transport)
8 Antonov An-24 (cargo transport)
"What the hell kind of planes are those?" They're Soviet planes, that's what kind of planes they are. Anyway, the entire international schedule for any given week looks like this:
Pyongyang - Bangkok: Thursday, Il-62. Return Friday.
Pyongyang - Beijing: Tuesday and Saturday, Il-62.
Pyongyang - Macau: Monday, Tu-154.
Pyongyang - Shenyang: Wednesday and Saturday, Tu-134.
Pyongyang - Vladivostok: Thursday, Tu-134.
A once-weekly Moscow and Berlin service has been suspended, so there are only seven round-trip flights to and from North Korea each week. That's a somewhat small figure for a country of millions of people, especially considering that Incheon International Airport would see as many flights in a slow half hour.
Fax: +850 (2) 81 46 25
Tel: +850 (2) 32 143
For a state that shuns capitalism, they sure are eager to take tourists' money...