I’m Air Koryo, fly me?

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | August 27, 2015 0


There are not too many choices in flying into the No Choice Democratic (sic) Republic of Korea or North Korea as it’s known in the rest of the world. There is a choice of Air Koryo or Air Koryo. With such stiff competition for the fourth year in a row, North Korean airline Air Koryo has been ranked as the world’s worst airline, achieving a one star rating out of a possible five. Of the 600 carriers assessed by aviation consultancy Skytrax, none achieved as low a score the secret state’s national airline.


But just how bad is it to fly with the airline?

Reports of luggage being weighed by hand, in-flight entertainment dedicated solely to Kim Jong-un and aircraft dating back to the 1960s suggest it can’t be much fun.


However, generally, reviews of the carrier on the internet aren’t quite as bad as you’d imagine. The airline’s average customer rating on Skytrax’s website is an adequate, if not spectacular, 6.0 out of 10 and of the 41 users to have left reviews, 24 said they would recommend flying Air Koryo.

There are a few worrying comments, such as:


On Instagram, users have been posting with the #airkoryo hashtag, and even the worst airline in the world has its customers taking photos of their food. Here’s the infamous Air Koryo American-style hamburger, which seemed to go down well with this photographer. But even so, many seem to have been enjoyed their experience.


And here’s a glimpse of the in-flight entertainment, which is, invariably, a technicolour history of North Korea’s supreme leaders. AirKoryo4

All in all, it’s quite a mixed bag. While some customers understand why Air Koryo has such a low rating, others touch down feeling pleasantly surprised.

That’s the thing about being ‘the world’s worst’ – you only have to beat low expectations. In fairness Asia is the home of some exceptional airlines and Air Koryo has a reasonable safety and maintenance record, it is not on the list of airlines banned from operating within the EU. So if you are travelling to the Worker’s Paradise of North Korea, take your choice, Air Koryo or Air Koryo?

The Skibbereen Eagle
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