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Air Koryo New Route To Kuwait  
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8197 posts, RR: 54
Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 16645 times:

Air Koryo are opening a new route to Kuwait City, to operate once a week.

Outbound (Tue, day 2): JS 161 FNJ 1800 / KWI 0110+1
Return (Wed, day 3): JS 162 KWI 1400 / FNJ 0500+1
Aircraft: Tupolev Tu-204-300

From the schedule it is obvious that the aircraft parks for thirteen hours, enabling the crew to have an eight hour sleep before operating the machine back to Pyongyang.

The Tu-204-300 is the long haul, "SP" version of the 204, and the Air Koryo machine (they have just the one, plus a pair of regular -200s) is the only airframe of the type exported from Russia. It is also used on flights to Moscow, plus Beijing of course.

It is an interesting choice of route out of the hermit kingdom. The airline says, "We are glad to announce Air Koryo has started serving Kuwait City, the capital of the Arabic nation of Kuwait, with a weekly Tupolev Tu-204-300 serivce. The route offers many connections onto the Middle East, Iran, Africa and offers business links in the region."


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDalavia From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16574 times:

I have only one question....

Why Kuwait ???


User currently offlinebj87 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16491 times:

Quoting Dalavia (Reply 1):
Why Kuwait ???

I have the same question. There must be political reasons or is there a tourist market for people in the area of Kuwait to visit North Korea?

Also what happens if the sole TU 204-300 goes tech? I doubt it can get serviced in Kuwait in a timely manner and there is no replacement aircraft. Can a regular TU204-200 do the trip?


User currently offlineinitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16418 times:

I was also pretty puzzled when I saw on their FB page that KWI is their next destination. However, it's great to see them opening more and more routes globally. However, Wikipedia (unreliable, I know) states the TU 204-300 having a range of just 3600 miles but FNJ-KWI is 4367 miles. Am I missing out something here?


One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlineseabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5841 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 16386 times:

Quoting initious (Reply 3):
However, Wikipedia (unreliable, I know) states the TU 204-300 having a range of just 3600 miles but FNJ-KWI is 4367 miles. Am I missing out something here?

That table is just wrong. The Tu-204-300 has close to 5000 nm range.


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16207 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 2):
There must be political reasons

This would absolutely be my guess. I don't see North Korea doing anything with one of their major pawns (Air Koryo) unless there is a political advantage to it.


User currently offlinekwi From Kuwait, joined Apr 2000, 153 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16133 times:

There was something in the local papers a few days ago about Air Koryo opening up an office in Kuwait City. There was also a mention of a new route being opened to facilitate the movement of North Korean workers to and from North Korea. At the time I was sure it was media speculation or another example of the press getting airline-related news wrong.

One thing is for certain...this won't just be the most exotic route out of Kuwait, but one of the most exotic routes in the world!

KWI


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 16057 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 2):
Also what happens if the sole TU 204-300 goes tech?

Bring back the good old IL 62Mk !!!!


User currently offlineflyingbird From Sweden, joined Mar 2005, 172 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15999 times:

Is this route really new? I took this screenshot on 25 march 2011 at 10:54 CET.

http://i52.tinypic.com/ir18vl.png


User currently offlineFly-K From Germany, joined May 2000, 3162 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15915 times:
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Quoting flyingbird (Reply 8):
Is this route really new? I took this screenshot on 25 march 2011 at 10:54 CET

Maybe a route proving flight.

Quoting kwi (Reply 6):
There was also a mention of a new route being opened to facilitate the movement of North Korean workers to and from North Korea

Still, then DXB would have been the more logical choice as a gateway.



Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15903 times:

I wonder how long it will be before the crews start defecting.

Rich Oil Nation or Poor Communist Dictatorship? That's a hard one...     



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlineSirThomas From UK - England, joined Jul 2009, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15801 times:

Quoting TheCol (Reply 10):
I wonder how long it will be before the crews start defecting.

Not likely, they're met at every international destination and taken straight to a DPRK endorsed hotel/embassy, plus, I imagine they'll have a party official on board, lol  

These flights will only be for party officials and workers anyway, It's not like they have much of a tourism industry.

Tom



Flown On: A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/AT45/734/736/738/744/DH8D/T204/T154/IL62/T134/IL-18/An-24
User currently offlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15790 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):

From the schedule it is obvious that the aircraft parks for thirteen hours, enabling the crew to have an eight hour sleep before operating the machine back to Pyongyang.

That strikes me as being rather aggressive. I am used to 11 hours min rest for Crew, so 13 hours on the ground plus pre-flight briefing etc does not leave much room for error. Of course, I have no idea what FTL rules are used in North Korea.



PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineklwright69 From Saudi Arabia, joined Jan 2000, 2100 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15767 times:

Yes, I agree the layover is rather brief for such a long flight..

I am sure PRK has already thought out the problem of a defection.

This is one of the biggest route surprises of all time IMHO.

But then again this airline does not exist to make profits, so who knows why they are doing this.


User currently offlineSemaex From Germany, joined Nov 2009, 833 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15682 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 2):
There must be political reasons or is there a tourist market for people in the area of Kuwait to visit North Korea?

Maybe the other way around? I bet some North Koreans would love to enjoy the northern winter in the desert's sun.

All kidding aside, all I can say that this move is epic on Air Koryos behalf.
My question is: Kuwait historically having closer ties to the US than other nations in the region, what is the American response to that?



// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26005 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15606 times:

Quoting Dalavia (Reply 1):
I have only one question....

Why Kuwait ???

It's probably the only country in the region that gave them traffic rights. I doubt North Korea has negotiated bilaterals with many countries.


User currently offlinedanfearn77 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 1818 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15501 times:

How does Air Koryo choose routes? I've always been curious. There are severe restrictions on all foreigners entering NK so is their network mainly politically motivated?


Eagles may soar high, but weasels dont get sucked into jet engines!
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 15408 times:

Quoting klwright69 (Reply 13):
I am sure PRK has already thought out the problem of a defection.

Considering they already fly to foreign countries, yes, they have that all figured out - I guarantee nobody will be defecting...but not because they don't want to!


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 15326 times:

There are an estimated 3000 North Korean construction workers currently employed in Kuwait. For some reason, I find that extremely amusing.

I still think Kuwait's an odd choice though. I could have seen Teheran work out, though it is probably not very far fetched to assume certain North Korean products will make their way from Kuwait over to Iran.

After Conviasa's Caracas-Madrid-Damascus-Teheran stunt, this should come second place on the 'World's most shadiest flights' list.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 15294 times:

Quoting something (Reply 18):
this should come second place on the 'World's most shadiest flights' list.

I don't see how Kuwait-Pyongyang is any shadier than Beijing-Pyongyang...Kuwait isn't Tehran.


User currently offlineIAD380 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 804 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 14152 times:

I can't image that this flight will attract many passengers or carry much cargo. This flight is a money-losing proposition because it will generate little revenue, while fuel costs will be high. It would have made more sense for Air Koryo to have inaugurated a flight to second Chinese destination, such as PVG.

User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13587 times:

Quoting IAD380 (Reply 20):
This flight is a money-losing proposition

While likely true, saying that as a fact is ridiculous as it hasn't started

Quoting IAD380 (Reply 20):
to second Chinese destination,

Pretty sure they serve Shenyang already


User currently offlineCOA735 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13512 times:

Quoting flyingbird (Reply 8):
Is this route really new? I took this screenshot on 25 march 2011 at 10:54 CET

Looks like this route started May 16th, according to this:
http://airlineroute.net/2011/05/31/js-fnjkwi-may11/


User currently offlinesoundtrack From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 284 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 12112 times:

DPRK has a great casino and Kuwaitis might enjoy a gambling trip since there are no casinos in the area (wink).

User currently offlineHomaDreaming From United States of America, joined May 2008, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11771 times:

This is purely my speculation and nothing more but a few thousand construction workers alone does not warrant a flight to Kuwait. I think the main purpose of this flight is Iran. I bet they would have rather started Tehran IKA if it wasn't for the US. Im sure the US would not be very happy with a direct flight btwn North Korea and the Islamic Republic and probably influence many countries to shut down their Air Space to such a flight.

Kuwait is right next to Iran and there is a lot of people who travel between the two countries, legally and illegally... It would be very easy to send valuable information, cargo and people to Iran from Kuwait... So if you factor in the North Korean workers in Kuwait, the actual traffic and cargo that is going to end up in Iran and the real housewives of Pyongyang (I'm talking party officials and their families) with purses full of cash and a hunger for brand names and luxury that can only be found in places like Kuwait and its gulf neighbors,you've got yourself a viable weekly flight to Kuwait! Again just speculation!


25 ag92 : As previously stated, I highly doubt Air Koryo's aim is to earn money,
26 something : Well I don't think the workers play no role at all. They will be part of the reason. But obviously not their only interest. Same goes for the ''touri
27 Post contains images hal9213 : Does an aircraft of the only one-star airline in the world ever go tech?
28 Post contains images bj87 : Are those things still airworthy? I thought the TU204 fleet replaced them? I didn't know that, but the thought is amusing. I mean how do they control
29 Post contains images PlymSpotter : Has anyone considered that this might actually just be a glorified workers charter, on which it's possible for the very few who can travel freely to b
30 something : Well or get them from Russia or China. Maybe the plane will be stuck at KWI for a week or two. But it's not like they have to fight very hard to main
31 LXM83 : I think that's exactly what it is. Also explains why this flight was seen on flightradar24 even before the official inaugural - because it already ex
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