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North Korea Aviation Update  
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Posted (1 year 2 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7419 times:

Latest from North Korea is the future of the Il-62 is safe for at least one more year, since Air Koryo bought an Il-62 from Cubana. It was in the parking area at Pyongyang for a couple of months and has now been broken up and exists in (presumably) filing cabinets in the mx area to support the head of state aircraft which is immune to noise restrictions. This means that JS will keep their two pax machines airworthy to use in support roles (entourage on foreign trips), trade missions / government trips, and the Juche Travel Services air tours.

Rumours are that although the extant An-148 is running successfully, the follow up order for another -148 and one -158 have been deferred. No reason given; and I am surprised as the capacity is exactly the same as the Tu-134 except with about a third of the fuel burn, not to mention two crew instead of...five? six?

I am still waiting for them to get an Il-96 since the purchase price would be close to $0 and they could use the lift, certainly in summer and around the time of the Arirang Games.

Finally, FYI Juche Travel Services have operated six air tours this year with one to go (Oct 19-26) and have announced dates for three more in 2014 on their website. These include Tu-204 from China (and back), with domestic flights on Tu-134 (x2), -154, Il-18 (x2), Il-62, Il-76, An-24, -148; plus ramp tours, a look at Kim il-Sung's private Il-14 and various cultural attractions in the country such as a visit to the DMZ and a lot of statues. I am rather partial to going back in May. Be there or be square? I can do both. Air tour dates:

May 17 - May 24
Aug 30 - Sep 6 (German speaking)
Sep 13 - Sep 20

They have also begun rail enthusiast tours which I think is an excellent idea, which include travelling from and back to Beijing by rail and around the country stopping off to visit railyards and museums inc the famous Pyongyang Metro museum (one room of which is apparently about how great Kim Jong-il is, without mention of transportation of any kind). Since the rail tours run directly after the air tours, they can be booked as a two-week "grand tour of transport" by the looks of it. Rail tour dates:

May 24 - Jun 1
Sep 20 - Sep 27

Info and booking at http://www.juchetravelservices.com


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1453 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6283 times:

Although I personally would never embark on one of these tours for various personal reasons, I do enjoy reading these reports for a different perspective of an area of aviation which is very rare these days to westerners.


thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently onlineSR380 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6127 times:
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It's "funny" to see that JS has deferred the upcoming of more AN-148 and AN-158, knowing that China choose to forbid JS to fly there ageing aircrafts build by the soviet. I am wondering if we would see JS operating a IL9 for its PEK trunk route. I guess that time will tell

User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7859 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5854 times:

As much as I dislike the government, a travel back in time today seems like a great idea for us to learn to appreciate the iPhones we have   

Im tempted to go. I can probably get to Beijing from Tokyo rather easily.

UNrelated question: How the heck can a TU-204 make it all the way to Kuwait City? And why such a flight?



我思うゆえに我あり。(Jap. 'I think, therefore I am.')
User currently onlineSR380 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5773 times:
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Of I m not mistaken, the TU204-300 has a longer range than the 100 series and can make it all the way. I think that they make a stop over in KUL still. A few months ago when the first announce the route, I heard something about North Korean workers working in Kuwait on constructions site. Anyone can confirm it?

User currently onlineSR380 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5735 times:
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So the TU204-300 can travel up to 9300km (5000nmi)with 166 passenger while the distance between Pyongyang and Kuwait City is 7000km (4300nmi). So JS can travel all the way with there TU204-300. And regarding why there are flying there:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/nort...01000000AEN20121015000200315F.HTML

Wonder how those workers can expect to live normally in DPRK after being "contaminated" by the west.


User currently offlineryu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

If Air Koryo bought an IL-62 from Cubana, how would they ferry the plane from Cuba to North Korea without passing through US or EU airspace, both of which Air Koryo are banned from?

User currently onlineSR380 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2013, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5527 times:
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And once again please let not politics get on this forum

To Ryu2 the IL62 was bought from CU, I guess they flew it there on a CU flight as Cubana as the right to fly over the US airspace.


User currently offlinePATRistar From Brazil, joined Aug 2013, 44 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5457 times:

Ferry flights are also banned?

User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4353 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4688 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 15):

This aircraft, ex CU-T1280, was routed via Africa instead, probably it made one stop in a country like Guinée or Senegal, perhaps one more in China. It suddenly was parked in Pyongyang on the 20 july 2012 with P-886P registration already.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineSIBILLE From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 483 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4639 times:

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 19):
This aircraft, ex CU-T1280, was routed via Africa instead, probably it made one stop in a country like Guinée or Senegal, perhaps one more in China. It suddenly was parked in Pyongyang on the 20 july 2012 with P-886P registration already.

She has been scrapped.
Here is a picture made last week at Pyongyang airport  



Here is two links of last week flights.
First in on their brand new An-148 wich is very confortable. A ggod surprise!
The second one is on the old Tu-154-B2.

http://youtu.be/ozh-laL1rwM

http://youtu.be/X5HNYBzcgdw


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4303 times:

One observation about the Juche tours for those who are worried their money is going to an undemocratic government, the tour is €1,500 which includes flights from and back to China, local flights except the Il-62 (€250 extra), all meals and beer, all ground transport, local guides, Juche guide from the UK, visa, the works. Personally I don't think NK makes a profit on that, they allow tourism to "manage" curiosity in their odd country and maybe in the av tour case enjoy the collateral benefit of getting an hour or two of flying on a few rarely used types to keep a crew current. No-one is getting rich by offering a week long package tour with eight or so flights on thirsty old planes for that kind of money. Don't exaggerate your role in propping up the regime, I'm pretty sure it's the other way round, they're subsidising our hobby if anything.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlinezululima From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 338 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3804 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 11):
€1,500 which includes flights from and back to China, local flights except the Il-62 (€250 extra)

Actually it's €1995 + €250 for the Il-76 and €250 to guarantee the Il-62, which may not fly to/from Beijing.

Flights to/from Paektu on Il-18 are 1hr each.
Flights to/from Hamhung on Tu-134, An-24, then again on 2x Tu-154 are only 25min. each.
Flights on Il-76 and Il-62 are ~1hr. loops around Pyongyang.
Flights to/from Beijing on Tu-204 if Il-62 not available.

Seems like a lot to spend (€2495 / $3365 plus airfare to/from China) for types which can mostly still be had in Eastern Europe. If they could get that IL-96 and some longer flights, or at least bring the price down to a more reasonable point (given the economic situation in North Korea) it would be quite an interesting trip.



I didn't get a 'Harumph' outta that guy!
User currently offlineSIBILLE From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 483 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 17 hours ago) and read 3533 times:

Quoting zululima (Reply 12):
Actually it's €1995 + €250 for the Il-76 and €250 to guarantee the Il-62, which may not fly to/from Beijing.

Flights to/from Paektu on Il-18 are 1hr each.
Flights to/from Hamhung on Tu-134, An-24, then again on 2x Tu-154 are only 25min. each.
Flights on Il-76 and Il-62 are ~1hr. loops around Pyongyang.
Flights to/from Beijing on Tu-204 if Il-62 not available.

Seems like a lot to spend (€2495 / $3365 plus airfare to/from China) for types which can mostly still be had in Eastern Europe. If they could get that IL-96 and some longer flights, or at least bring the price down to a more reasonable point (given the economic situation in North Korea) it would be quite an interesting trip.

I don't agree. It's now impossible to fly aircrafts such as Il-18 and Tu-154-B somewhere else.
Even in Eastern Europe, it's harder and harder to fly an An-24, Tu-134 or even Tu-154-M (the B is older).
The Il-62 is flying in North Korea only and maybe in Kazakstan (Deta Air????) or military/government.
Flying an Il-76 is very uneasy if you are not a crew.
So, 1995 € will give you you the chance to fly 8 times (1 An-24 + 2 Il-18 + 1 Tu-134 + 2 Tu-154 + 2 Tu-204). Don't forget that most of these birds are burning a lot of fuel and adding 250 € to fly an Il-62 and 250 € to fly an Il-76 is expensive but in an other way, an unique chance.
And for 1995 €, you have also an all inclusive week (accomodation, food, drinks, transfert, visits, museum fee .......). I've never spent more than 80 € in one week in North Korea (I've been there 3 times) and from these 80 €, 50 € were for the guides's tip.
And I can tell you the food is good and the accomodation also.
So, asking for a lower price is impossible in my sence (don't forget last year's aviation tour cost the same price with only 6 flights).


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3220 times:

I'm glad the av tours are being discussed because it's unique in the world and mega fun. That's a phrase I picked up from hanging around with aviation photography legend Sam Chui - "This is raw aviation mega fun." Bless him.

Quoting zululima (Reply 12):
Seems like a lot to spend (€2495 / $3365 plus airfare to/from China) for types which can mostly still be had in Eastern Europe.

Sibille is right, these types aren't available anywhere else, let alone in Europe. Il-18, Il-62, Tu-154B are all totally extinct outside North Korea. Tu-134 exists in tiny numbers in Russia but at small airlines who also have western types - I know a group went to Russia from the UK in 2012 to fly Tu-134, -154M and Yak-42 at horrendous expense (Russian domestic flights are really expensive, + visa, hotel, positioning flights, food et al) and only flew A320s the whole way. Il-76 you really need to be crew - or in the military of a Third World country - to get a ride.

The certainty that you won't end up flying on a 737-800 or Airbus is really appealing - MEA could sub an A310 in place of a 707, the Russians can put western equipment on a route at any moment, even Saha Air had a couple of A300s towards the end which occasionally replaced a 707 without notice. The joy of Air Koryo is even if there's a sub, it's amazing - I was on the first 2012 av tour and on that trip, the options for flying back to China were either Tu-204 to PEK or Tu-154B to SHE. I took the SHE option for the 154 but due to operational reasons, they had to change the type at the last minute, and we got an Il-62 instead. There were a few grumbles of course, cos some people really wanted a 154, but for me it was win win. An Il-62 is one hell of an exotic sub.

And as Sibille points out, the Juche Travel Services package includes all food, beer, ground transport et al. There is literally no need to put your hand in your pocket except to tip the kind and charming guides. So if you think a four star hotel is a steal at €100 a night, well that's €600 right there. Three meals a day, say €20, well that's another €120. Your share of local guides, bus and driver? €50 a day sounds low, so that's another €300. Divide what's left by what, ten or eleven sectors (inc China - FNJ - China) and you're paying about €100 per flight. Considering what these things do in fuel, it's the bargain of the century. See you in 2014 - be there or be square? I can do both!



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineeirik From Norway, joined Mar 2005, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3052 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 14):

And as Sibille points out, the Juche Travel Services package includes all food, beer, ground transport et al. There is literally no need to put your hand in your pocket except to tip the kind and charming guides. So if you think a four star hotel is a steal at €100 a night, well that's €600 right there. Three meals a day, say €20, well that's another €120. Your share of local guides, bus and driver? €50 a day sounds low, so that's another €300. Divide what's left by what, ten or eleven sectors (inc China - FNJ - China) and you're paying about €100 per flight. Considering what these things do in fuel, it's the bargain of the century. See you in 2014 - be there or be square? I can do both!

Well spoken, Cedar; now I feel the urge to book the May tour (would be my 3 visit to DPRK)  


User currently offlineTUGMASTER From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Jul 2004, 711 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3014 times:

Quoting eirik (Reply 15):
Well spoken, Cedar; now I feel the urge to book the May tour (would be my 3 visit to DPRK)

Well Said chaps...

Also feel the need for a visit in May 14.

maybe head to PEK on the IR SP... that'd be a cool & Retro way to start the tour.


User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2344 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 3):
UNrelated question: How the heck can a TU-204 make it all the way to Kuwait City? And why such a flight?

Because Pyongyang direct to Tehran looks kinda sketchy to the UN, methinks...   



Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinetymnbalewne From Bermuda, joined Mar 2005, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2534 times:

This has been an interesting thread. The DPRK, while no paradise, is a fascinating place, and, frankly the only place remaining where this collection of aircraft remain flying. As for funding the DPRK gov't, perhaps so but I also know that the tips/gifts I give to the guides, etc. they're keeping and it's directly helping them.

What I do find amazing, and perhaps CedarJet can chime in, is why does JS have such an eclectic collection of aircraft? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they have no fleet rationalisation but I wonder what their thinking is on their fleet?



Dewmanair...begins with Dew
User currently offlineEHRD From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 2139 times:

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 9):
This aircraft, ex CU-T1280, was routed via Africa instead, probably it made one stop in a country like Guinée or Senegal, perhaps one more in China. It suddenly was parked in Pyongyang on the 20 july 2012 with P-886P registration already.

This is a picture I made during the October 2012 tour.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8489/8163856325_0cf0158d11_b.jpg

Quoting SR380 (Reply 5):
So the TU204-300 can travel up to 9300km (5000nmi)with 166 passenger while the distance between Pyongyang and Kuwait City is 7000km (4300nmi). So JS can travel all the way with there TU204-300.

Looking at flightradar24, I noticed that the KWI flights make a stop at ISB. It makes sense for the P-633 to make a fuel stop en-route but I noticed that P-632 also makes a stop at ISB which I don't quite understand because it's range is long enough to fly nonstop. Anyone an idea?

Looking at some footage on Youtube of the last DPRK tours, I saw that during the September tour Tupolev 134 P-813 was used on the flight to Sondok. Very nice to see that aircraft back in service again after a long time.


User currently offlineSIBILLE From Belgium, joined Jun 2005, 483 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 2097 times:

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 18):
Looking at some footage on Youtube of the last DPRK tours, I saw that during the September tour Tupolev 134 P-813 was used on the flight to Sondok. Very nice to see that aircraft back in service again after a long time.

Here is my link with the Tu-134's flight.

A very good new to see her back in the air.

http://youtu.be/7VxR1vskwRU


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1894 posts, RR: 42
Reply 21, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1993 times:
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CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting tymnbalewne (Reply 18):
What I do find amazing, and perhaps CedarJet can chime in, is why does JS have such an eclectic collection of aircraft? Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they have no fleet rationalisation but I wonder what their thinking is on their fleet?

Embargoes for sure. They can't purchase any "Western" aircraft. And I think it's quite a hassle for them to get their hands on Russian/Ukranian types as well though they did aquire a few in the past years. Also their hardcore Soviet equipment is still in such good state that it may not be nessecary to replace them for the routes that they operate. That might change now since China no longer allows the TU-134/154 and IL-62 in their airspace.

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
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