Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Air Koryo

February 10th, 2009 · No Comments

airkoryo1No self-respecting country can do without an airline, and North Korea is no exception. The Hermit Kingdom’s lone commercial carrier is Air Koryo, founded in 1954 (as the less melliflously dubbed Choson Minhang CAAK). Alas, the airline’s destinations appear to be fairly limited; you can charter flights to Bangkok, Macao, or Sofia, but the normal service only goes to either Beijing or Vladivostok.

Further Air Koryo buzzkills: No radios, porn, or “written material in any language about the DPRK not published in DPRK.” And children under two years old must pay 10 percent of the adult fare.

Oh, yeah—and according to the European Union, flying Air Koryo is only slightly safer than playing Russian roulette. (Also on the EU list: Silverback Cargo Freighters.)

On the plus side, I’ve heard they don’t charge for pillows and blankets.

Update: Per recent passenger reviews, Air Koryo may be better than I thought (assuming you don’t plunge into the Yellow Sea). “The food was satisfactory,” writes one happy customer, “with chicken, curry beef with rice, some melon-esque vegetable, bread, and dessert.” Take that, JetBlue snack basket!


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