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Flying Air Koryo?  
User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2599 posts, RR: 17
Posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7622 times:
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Air Koryo has some interesting aircraft....Tu-154B, Il-18 and Il-62 which especially in the case of the Il-18 would be awesome to fly on. My question is how would one go about getting tickets for this airline? Any special permissions or documents required to fly to/from North Korea?

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMRA From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7545 times:

You will need a visa to enter the DPRK. The easiest way seems to be from their mission in Beijing, however a travel agency can take care of that for you. You will almost certainly need to join a tour group such as Koryo Tours.

http://www.koryotours.com/tours/index.html

It's a unique experience to travel to the DPRK, to say the least. Flying on Air Koryo was, for me, an extra-added benefit. Stern flight attendants (who did manage to crack smiles for babies and small children, however), marshal music piped in during the flight, free newspapers and magazines (all from the DPRK), green or orange curry meals on the way in and 9am hamburger breakfasts and no shortage of beer on the way out.



"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - The Dude
User currently offlineXtoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 953 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7462 times:

Now that would be a real interesting trip for an American, especially a veteran of either serving in the ROK or anyone involved in the Cold War. I enlisted at the tail end of the Cold War and right before Desert Sheild. I spent my four years of enlistment in Europe and then another 4 years DoD after that working for the US Army. I've always wanted to go to off the wall places, and North Korea always intrigued me. By any ways or means I do not condone their government, or communism but it would be pretty cool to see how they really live over there. I probably wouldn't get to see all the "blood and guts", but just to go there would be an experience. I just wonder what the reprecussions would be if I were to visit. I could kiss a security clearance good-bye if I ever chose to work or contract for the US government again. Just as good will, I don't really see the harm in visiting. Well, not just that, just a chance to visit somewhere not very many people are allowed to go, much less Americans, it would really be cool.


EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7528 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7319 times:

Best check if the US Govt will take offence.

User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2996 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7290 times:



Quoting Xtoler (Reply 2):
just wonder what the reprecussions would be if I were to visit.

No repercussions. It's not illegal for US citizens to visit, although it is heavily restricted by the North Koreans.

Quoting Xtoler (Reply 2):
I could kiss a security clearance good-bye if I ever chose to work or contract for the US government again.

Anything's possible, but I really doubt they would hold it against you.

See my comments on this recent thread: http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/3823536/

As I mentioned over there, I have an American friend who visited recently and found it fascinating.



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7278 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 3):
Best check if the US Govt will take offence.

There are special tours for US citizens, but they're mostly during major events like "Liberation Day" or the "Mass Games".

http://www.koryotours.com/tours/index-us.html


User currently offlineMRA From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7268 times:

So long as one is going as a tourist, it is not a problem for the US Gov't:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_988.html

In particular: "All transactions ordinarily incident to travel to, from and within North Korea and to maintenance within North Korea are authorized, and U.S. travel service providers are allowed to organize group travel to North Korea."



"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." - The Dude
User currently offlineMilesDependent From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 856 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7004 times:

My favourite part of flying Air Koryo was that there are no seats for the F/As. They hold on to handles in the galley for take off and landing! Quite seriously. On our flight on the way back there were spare seats, so they sat down in them.

User currently offlineSovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2599 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6802 times:
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Well I have Bulgarian citizenship as well...so I think I'm in the clear  Smile

User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 547 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6619 times:

Speaking of Air Koryo, does anyone know what is happening with their new Tu-204?

There are no images on A.net yet, which suggests they might not be in regular service (at least to anywhere where airport photography is allowed).

Does anyone have an update on the Tu-204 - or even an idea whether they have used the same livery as the Il-62s and Tu-154s?


User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3769 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6562 times:



Quoting MRA (Reply 1):
The easiest way seems to be from their mission in Beijing, however a travel agency can take care of that for you.

There are quite a few North Korean embassies from which one can obtain visas. And in order to be able to visit the mission in Beijing, you need a visa for China, so unless you're already on your way to the DPRK (which itself may lead to trouble when trying to get a visa, even though one usually needs to enter the DPRK from China), I suggest not forking out the extra visa fees if you're taking two trips to China. Try the one in Mexico City instead. Or the one in Sofia.

Quoting FoxBravo (Reply 4):

No repercussions. It's not illegal for US citizens to visit, although it is heavily restricted by the North Koreans.

I thought the North Koreans didn't let any Americans in (or Israelis, which is a little weird). Tried to find a source for that, but came up empty-handed...

Cheers
mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 547 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6539 times:



Quoting Doona (Reply 10):
I thought the North Koreans didn't let any Americans in (or Israelis, which is a little weird). Tried to find a source for that, but came up empty-handed...

I have taken several groups of students into North Korea. One requirement is that US and Israeli passports cannot be used to obtain a DPRK visa - and last year I had a student with a Japanese passport rejected at the last minute too.

However, exceptions are made for special events such as the mass games, when special, very brief and (I understand) quite expensive trips are opened up to US passport holders (not sure about the Israelis in this situation).

If a US passport holder holds a second passport, then there is no problem using the second passport to go to North Korea. A few years ago, I had a student from Colombia who held both US and Colombian passports. He used the Colombian passport for his DPRK visa and his US passport for the Chinese visa. When we had to reconfirm our flights from FNJ to PEK, he had to show his US passport to the North Korean officials to provide evidence he had a visa for China - it was absolutely no problem as the North Koreans do recognise dual nationalities; they didn't even blink or show surprise. The only proviso was that he had to use the Colombian passport for the DPRK visa.


User currently offlineOneSkyJet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 84 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5787 times:

I went on to North Korea with Koryo Tours in October 2007 with a group of approx 25 other Americans. It is absolutely possible tovisit North Korea as an American and though highly restricted is well worth the trip. We even played golf on the nine hole pitch and putt at the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang. Below are links to some photos I took there, including a bunch on the Air Koryo IL62s in and out of Pyongyang from Beijing

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10212246@N06/sets/72157602383677826/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10212246@N06/sets/72157602388112475/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10212246@N06/sets/72157602385116232/

Very interesting trip.


User currently offlineJalapeno From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5521 times:



Quoting OneSkyJet (Reply 12):
OneSkyJet

Wow! Thanks for sharing those pics....absolutely amazing.....especially the ILs


User currently offline777way From Pakistan, joined Dec 2005, 5716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5332 times:

Impressive meal service, was that Business class?

User currently offlineGeorgiabill From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 579 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 5291 times:
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Yes. I agree thanks for sharing those pictures. Did you enjoy your flight on the IL62M? Did you need to get permission to take pictures?

User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4645 times:

IIRC there is at least 1 trip report on this airline within the past year


I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
User currently offlineTwolz2rn From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4425 times:



Quoting OneSkyJet (Reply 12):
I went on to North Korea with Koryo Tours in October 2007 with a group of approx 25 other Americans.

What Tour group did you use?


User currently offlineAlexEU From Serbia, joined Oct 2007, 1817 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4054 times:

What if you book flight mainly to get on a Il-62 or Il-18 but they switch to Tu-154  Smile ?

Quoting OneSkyJet (Reply 12):

Great pix ! Did uou have trouble when photographying Pyongyang airport and gov related things?


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11639 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4033 times:

There is a way to fly the Il-18 of Air Koryo even if it's been replaced on the PEK flights by the Tu204. If you would like further information drop me a line via PM, it's something I've been looking at doing not this summer, but in summer 2009, unfortunately though being a US citizen would at present rule you out.


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Slightly off-topic, but ...

What is the correct pronounciation of Air Koryo ?
Is it "Kor-yo" or "Ko-ry-o" ?
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 547 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3440 times:



Quoting HT (Reply 20):
What is the correct pronounciation of Air Koryo ?
Is it "Kor-yo" or "Ko-ry-o" ?

I believe the correct pronunciation is Ko-ri-yo (all said very quickly).


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3356 times:



Quoting Dalavia (Reply 21):
I believe the correct pronunciation is Ko-ri-yo (all said very quickly).

Thanks for the info !
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineZentraedi From Japan, joined Jun 2007, 660 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3306 times:



Quoting HT (Reply 22):


Quoting HT (Reply 20):
What is the correct pronounciation of Air Koryo ?
Is it "Kor-yo" or "Ko-ry-o" ?

I believe the correct pronunciation is Ko-ri-yo (all said very quickly).

Now, perhaps someone who speaks Korean can chime in, but I'm willing to bet that it's Ko-Ryo.

If you look at the name of the company in Hanja, it's 高麗航空 , romanzied as Koryŏ Hanggong.

For anyone that understand Chinese characters, the last 2 charcaters just mean "airlines", leaving us with 高麗

Now, normally each character corresponds to a syllable. Korean is a bit different from Japanese, but in Japanese you'd pronounce it as Kou-Rei. Now, there is some variance between Japanese and Korean reading as they are taken from different Chinese dialects, but I'm pretty certain the 麗 character is read as 'Ryo'. That 'Ryo' sound also appears commonly in Japanese, so it wouldn't surprise me to find it in Korean, with both languages having very similar phenome groups.


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3057 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 6 days ago) and read 3295 times:



Quoting Sovietjet (Reply 8):
Well I have Bulgarian citizenship as well...so I think I'm in the clear

Just don't bring your US passport.

They only allow US citizens in on the MASS games or other very large events. There is absolutely no private visiting, all must be by tour. No visitors may bring radios or use cell-phones (cell-phones were confiscated until recently, IIRC). They are very strict on camera use.

They will have a tour guide holding an eye on you all the time, if you stray away from the tour or snick out during night, you will be deported.

All tours use quite good hotels in fact, as North Korea wants to strengthen its tourist industry.

Not sure if this is the case anymore, but before they made tourists sign a letter saying that their stay in North Korea cannot be published (so no trip report regarding the country).

People that go say that it is worth going, service has been good, and they have never felt threatened in there, although flying in to North Korea did not seem safe.

-CXfirst

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
25 MilesDependent : This is a Koryo Tours requirement, you only sign a letter to them, not to the Nth Koreans. As for the phones, I was there 9 months ago, and they take
26 Dalavia : From a purist grammatical viewpoint, I am sure you are right. When I indicated the pronunciation as Ko-ri-yo (said very quickly), I was trying to con
27 Dalavia : I am not sure whether this question is appropriate here, or whether it should be on the site-related forum, but I can't understand why Air Koryo is no
28 Oly720man : Most likely. This being the case there'd be no photos either.
29 Post contains images AirplaneBoy : As someone of Korean descent and fluent in Korean, I can confirm that you are correct!
30 Post contains images N1120A : They do. In fact, it is the Swedish embassy that handles US affairs
31 UpperDeck79 : As a Swede, I though you would suggest the embassy in Stockholm? ;D That's where we got ours. Maybe for English speakers "koh-rih-yoh" would give a b
32 Dalavia : Yes, I agree - that is probably a less ambiguous transliteration.
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