Yough Pioneer Tours

DPRK Guide

The short story

Air Koryo is the flagship carrier of North Korea and have almost daily flights to and from Beijing, as well as weekly services to Vladivostok, Shenyang and occasionally Shanghai. They also run a number of charter flights to and from south-east Asia, as well as a number of other destinations at more sporadic intervals.

Air Koryo have resumed weekly scheduled domestic flights between Pyongyang, Orang (Chongjin) and Sinuiju.

Is it safe to fly?

An Air Koryo plane -- currently it's not possible to take one from Seoul to Pyongyang.

Air Koryo are just like any other airliner in the world. They take aviation safety very serious with a safe flying record for decades now. All Air Koryo international flights meet the specific international aviation regulations with their newest jets in the fleet, the Tupolev TU-204 2010 model and the Antonov 158 2014 model. Since this upgrade in 2010, Air Koryo have resumed operations into the EU with their new fleet.

Deeper into history..

Established in 1950 and originally named Sokao, Air Koryo is the national airline of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  It is based at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang. In 1954, it was rebranded as UAMPS and remained so until its most recent renaming in 1973.  All of the Air Koryo aircraft are either Russian or Ukrainian-made with the most modern fleet of Tupalov TU-204’S and Antonov 158 being used on the International routes.

In the 1980s, Air Koryo had direct services to Prague, East Berlin, and Moscow. By the 1990s they flew to Bangkok and Sofia. In the early 2000s, they operated a direct service to cities in South Korea, but these were suspended and there are currently no direct flights between the north and the south.