Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/171600/

Topic: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-09 14:49:24 and read 32767 times.

Feedback always appreciated.

*** TRIP REPORT 100 ***





I > Background:
It is trip report #100 … so something special … a review of Air Koryo’s service from PEK to FNJ.

A few of us had qualified on a special approved “technical exchange” that would help DPRK and her airline industry. I had always wanted to go to the “other” Korea and this would be a fantastic opportunity to spend a week in the mysterious country. The visa was to be picked up from their Embassy in Beijing and a group of us were allocated a “special” flight to take us there.

I believe this would be the second report on Air Koryo, and the first featuring their TU-154M.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Air Koryo is the state-owned national flag carrier airline of North Korea, headquartered in Pyongyang. It operates international services and charter flights to points in Asia and Africa.

This is Air Koryo – so there really is no opportunity to buy an online ticket. In fact, I was surprised that the ticket given to us were e-tickets. Of course, there is no one to call for a seat assignment; no online viewing of itineraries (they are one of the few “flag” carriers with no website); of course no online check-in or anything that we take so granted these days.

b) At Airport:
Unlike most carriers who use the Norman Foster designed T3 @ PEK, Air Koryo uses T1. So swap the beautiful terminal filled with white people with a functional basic building with people who look as diverse as China’s increasingly fascinating foreign policy. There are the few white people taking KL to AMS … but other than that, tons of flights to the “Stans” and those random other routes.

Air Koryo outsources the check-in process to a ground handling company and I was shocked (“disappointed”?) when she seamlessly issued me my boarding passes and tagged me to FNJ. Besides the IATA demarcation, there was nothing that seemed out of the ordinary. Both security and passport control were a breeze, and I was soon exploring the weird terminal filled with shops that belonged in a Communist era China. With Facebook and Youtube banned (seriously China, let go!), I didn’t really want to hang out at the lounge which I had access to thanks to Priority Pass.

Boarding was called a few minutes earlier and one could feel the anticipation of those of us making the trek. We knew we were special – we were al going to embark on a journey that was different than anywhere we had gone before. There were lots of picture taking of the TU5 and each of us cursed the silly boarding gate for the obstructed view. Walking down the boarding gate, it hit me … I was going to DPRK … the “axis of evil” country that was an international pariah. A sense of anticipation crept within and for a traveler who takes flying as second nature, it was an amazing feeling. Within seconds, my blessed life flashed through me and I realized that I was a lucky guy. Amazing how at random moments you become grateful for what you have … I suddenly had this huge grin thinking of why I travel, and what a great industry this is. As I entered the aircraft, I was immediately swept to another era. I had entered a “coach” bus with an interior that was reminiscent of 1960s/1970s train. There were big chairs in JCL and the entire setting was something from a movie. To get to YCL, I passed through the galley with its metal tea pots and taps … it looked more like a galley of a train, than on a plane.

At entering, there was 2 North Korean flight attendants welcoming us … they say “Welcome” in Korean in extremely organized manner … but there was a wall and everything seemed significantly detached.

Y load was around 90% as I later learned the flight had our group and a bunch of tourists … who I am sure was equally anticipatory of the trip!

>Airport - External:

(Beijing Airport, T1)

*

Check-in:



Airport - Internal:


(FIDS)


(Post Security @ FNJ)

*

Scenes of the tarmac:

(Flight to the “other” Korea)


Lounge

NONE

Boarding:

(Yes, we are going to Pyongyang!)


(Boarding gate area)


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
After take-off, there was a full meal service followed by tea and café. During the entire service, Korean propaganda music was played … it was sort of eerie and I felt like I was going to be doctrinated by some member of the Dharma Initiative.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
Air Koryo’s TU5 belongs to a different era. The first thing you notice is the open racks reminiscent of jetliners from the 1960s. It felt like a B707/B720 inside more than any other airliner. The entire aircraft was very well maintained and clean. While the lighting made the bathroom look antique, it was kept super clean during the entire length of the flight.

The seat itself was like any other YCL seat. The clothed seat was very comfortable and provided more recline than you would get in many US JCL seats. It was certainly more comfortable than sitting in a Euro JCL seat. Legroom was adequate for a flight of this length.

Aircraft:
(TU5 @ PEK)

*


Views from Aircraft:

(I wonder what each of the captains think looking at the other)

*

*


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom
(Seat controls)


(Legroom)

*


(Blanket)
NONE


Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Very generous recline: this will be the ONLY report where I blurry some of the passengers due to heightened sensitivities)

*


Cabin:


*

*
(Is this a plane?)

*

*

*

*

*

*

*
(Bathroom Amenities)

*

*


c) Meal + Beverage:
I was keenly waiting for lunch wondering what is served on Air Koryo … and boy, was I not disappointed! It was actually quite a great meal, and better food than I have encountered on many international long-haul JCL’s. I am almost convinced of sending Lufthansa this meal to remind them that the portions they serve are good for children.

There was wonderful kimchi, a rice-filled dumpling kind of thing, a fruit medley, an unmemorable sponge cake, and a very filling and tasty chicken curry with rice. More importantly, the chicken curry was huge in quantity. The picture may not do justice, but the container was sort of what you’d find in a Chinese take-out in terms of portion. All together, just excellent!

The meal was rounded with North Korean beer (several runs), and finally tea/café. All in all, a very fulfilling affair.

(Lunch)


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Air Koryo has no ICE … but, somehow the IFE was the flight itself. Observing other passengers, talking to them, observing the crew, and watching the dramatic change in landscape as the flight crossed into DPRK was just exhilarating. The crew does come through with copies of the Pyongyang Times and the DPRK official magazine … both providing fascinating insight into the kind of discussion one would have in the country.

(Distributed magazines)


(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
(Fan given to everyone on board; boarding pass from return leg)


e) Crew:
Well, the Air Koryo crew was not really the definition of charming … but I am not sure they could be. Being DPRK, I am sure they were being watched and their performance monitored. Like an act in the Mass Games, they were extremely coordinated and the entire service was orchestrated to perfection. There were unison in welcoming and smiling … but too much of it felt like a show. However, to their credit, they efficiently moved around the cabin, did water runs, and promptly responded to any call button requests. Finally, they were extremely patient with customers who all took a zillion pictures on board. So, in short, better than many other crew members elsewhere!

IV> Post-Flight:
Arrival in Pyongyang was memorable as the plane touches down on a runway far away from the terminal building and then taxis in. As you do that, you pass a bunch of “exotic” animals such as the IL-18 and the IL-62. You then watch the terminal with “Dear Leader” and the “Great Leader” welcome you and remind you (just in case you had any doubt) that you have officially entered the country. At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated ... and you then begin your journey of the Hermit Kingdom.

(FNJ)
(Arrival)

*

*

*

*

*

*


V> Impressions + Scores:
I did not fly on Air Koryo to sample their services. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised by some of it. While they are not going to win any awards anytime soon, I thought some of their soft product (ex: food) was excellent for YCL. While the hardware left much to be desired, it was part of the surreal fun. Given their unique “operational” basis, I thought the crew pulled it off well too.

Air Koryo is more than an airline. To fly it is to be part of an incredible journey into a country that few venture into. Given the chance (which is rare), I’d do it again. A thump up because they actually demonstrated that getting the basics right (food, basic courteous service) is not rocket science.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:
(Air Koryo Video)


(Some pictures of DPRK)

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2010-07-09 15:03:05 and read 32767 times.

Lovely report Alex!

The reports on this airline and destination are few and far between, so thanks for going and sharing the experience with us.

That meal looked pretty darn good, much better than some maineline Western carriers!!

I'd be interested to see read about the journey out and see a few more pictures, I'd like to visit here, though the wife is most unlikely to but into it..

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: DCAJet
Posted 2010-07-09 15:16:04 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated

What? And are they returned to you as you leave the country?

Cheers,

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-09 15:16:08 and read 32767 times.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 1):
Lovely report Alex!

The reports on this airline and destination are few and far between, so thanks for going and sharing the experience with us.

That meal looked pretty darn good, much better than some maineline Western carriers!!

I'd be interested to see read about the journey out and see a few more pictures, I'd like to visit here, though the wife is most unlikely to but into it..

Cheers

Mark

= Mark, the food was much better than JCL on many mainline Western carriers!

You must go!!! I am sure you can work your charm on your wife and convince her. What is your wife's main concern?

What pictures do you want to see? BTW, everything (in terms of taking pics) is monitored and "approved" ...

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-09 15:16:51 and read 32767 times.

Quoting DCAJet (Reply 2):

What? And are they returned to you as you leave the country?

Cheers,

= LOL. Yes. I did not bring a laptop, but my phone was promptly handed back.

Saludos.
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: ELAL772
Posted 2010-07-09 15:17:08 and read 32767 times.

ABSOLUTELY fascinating!!!
Thank you for letting us into this mysterious world!

Seems as if there were quite a bit of westerners on the flight...
I wonder what takes them to NKorea (?!?)

I hope you post a TR for the flight out of FNJ...

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-07-09 15:19:41 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

fantastic to read this! Aside from the flight -yes it looks very good, service wise-, being on a Tu-154 etc. , I must say the pictures form the DPRK are very nice to see. That's a beautiful building actually. Never expected something 'big' was actually build in Pyongyang (I suppose?).

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated ... and you then begin your journey of the Hermit Kingdom.

I what way do they store it for you? In a box or so? Do you get some ticket to retrieve it later again? I wonder if officials will looks into PC's etc to find out information from 'the West'. What do you think?

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2010-07-09 15:20:42 and read 32767 times.

WOW you seriously have some of the most unique TRs out there. That's awesome that you went to the DPRK, I've wanted to go there for some time, although I suppose that it would be somewhat of a challenge considering I'm American....

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated ... and you then begin your journey of the Hermit Kingdom.

What's the purpose of this? Without cell service or internet access, I can't think of a reason they would have to confiscate these things.

It's kinda funny that some aspects of JS's service are better than those of the world's "reliable" carriers.

How was your stay in FNJ?

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-09 15:41:30 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 5):
ABSOLUTELY fascinating!!!
Thank you for letting us into this mysterious world!

= Anytime. I am glad I could go on this trip of a lifetime.

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 5):

Seems as if there were quite a bit of westerners on the flight...
I wonder what takes them to NKorea (?!?)

= They were all spies  . No, kidding. Some of them were part of my group ... and I believe there was an "approved" tourist group going as well.

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 5):

I hope you post a TR for the flight out of FNJ...

= Sadly no. No cameras are allowed whatsoever at the airport ... moreover, this is reinforced by your "minder" (aka spy) who personally monitors you and gets jittery even if you touch the camera case.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 6):
fantastic to read this! Aside from the flight -yes it looks very good, service wise-, being on a Tu-154 etc. , I must say the pictures form the DPRK are very nice to see. That's a beautiful building actually. Never expected something 'big' was actually build in Pyongyang (I suppose?).

= I was surprised as well ... and actually the city looks remarkably modern when viewed from high up. What was eerie is going to eat dinner one night and it being pitch black around us ... including in all residential buildings.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 6):

I what way do they store it for you? In a box or so? Do you get some ticket to retrieve it later again? I wonder if officials will looks into PC's etc to find out information from 'the West'. What do you think?

= Interesting proposition. When I got my mobile phone back, it was wrapped in a brown envelope, then in a plastic bag, and then sealed with those wax-seals.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 7):
WOW you seriously have some of the most unique TRs out there. That's awesome that you went to the DPRK, I've wanted to go there for some time, although I suppose that it would be somewhat of a challenge considering I'm American....

= Thank you. The TR's I write is to contribute to this incredibly community who I have learned so much from. YOU MUST GO! It is undoubtedly one of the most amazing trips I have been on. And Americans can go now ... movement is more restricted, but can be done.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 7):

What's the purpose of this? Without cell service or internet access, I can't think of a reason they would have to confiscate these things.

= Only thing I can think of is you give the mobile phone to someone in DPRK who is not authorized to have a phone?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 7):
How was your stay in FNJ?

= It was incredible. I learned so much about the place and myself. What was really haunting was the faces of the people ... expressionless as they went about their daily commute and resembling like their soul had been replaced by a computer. I just cannot explain the feeling I got each time I would look at them. They seemed so lifeless.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: AI151
Posted 2010-07-09 16:26:07 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex an amazing TR and great pictures in North Korea. Did taking any pictures on board as well as in the city cause you any problems in general as the security we all know is very tight.

The meal looks very nice and filling and it was odd to see that kitchen style metal work place on the aircraft.

Finally congrats on your 100th TR! Each one has been unique in their own way and I look forward to plenty more in the future.

Regards

Sandeep (AI151)

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: signol
Posted 2010-07-09 16:45:26 and read 32767 times.

Fascinating report and pictures! Thanks.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
A few of us had qualified on a special approved “technical exchange” that would help DPRK and her airline industry

Does this mean you relaxed your rule on not doing Trip Reports on work trips?  

signol

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2010-07-09 16:48:02 and read 32767 times.

US airlines should go to Pyong Yang to get training on how to prepare a proper meal.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: BMI727
Posted 2010-07-09 19:29:10 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
This is Air Koryo – so there really is no opportunity to buy an online ticket.

I guess Kim Jong Il hasn't invented that yet.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: SXDFC
Posted 2010-07-09 20:32:31 and read 32767 times.

As you know I always follow your TRs, and you have flown to some pretty cool places. I however must ask you this, Including this destination or any others, have you ever felt scared to enter a country?

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: TravelsUK
Posted 2010-07-09 22:34:39 and read 32767 times.

Fascinating and an incredibly interesting TR - it has certainly made for a enjoyable Saturday morning read!

Loved the galley shot, definately something from a bygone era although I would have to question the usefulness of that exit door...

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2010-07-09 23:43:55 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
What pictures do you want to see? BTW, everything (in terms of taking pics) is monitored and "approved" ...

- Just more pictures of the city, buildings, countryside, stuff to give a view of the way of life if you know what I mean.

Thanks  

Mark

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: rogerbcn
Posted 2010-07-10 02:49:24 and read 32767 times.

Bravo Alex!

You could not have chosen a better airline to dedicate your 100 Trip Report. Truly excellent!

The airline seems to be of another world, no only the interiors look something of the past but service seems to be as well something we have already forgotten...

Last Monday there was program on TV about North Korea and the images they show are quite exactly the same you show up here... probably the only ones allowed to foreigners; and they commented on the necessity to take pictures of the statue of the Great Leader just in full, the two tube stations allowed to visitors... They talked as well about their national intranet service which filters and cuts out all the "unnecessary" web pages.

Excellent job!

Salut!

Roger

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Pagophilus
Posted 2010-07-10 04:00:55 and read 32767 times.

That photo of the aeroplane's metal toilet reminds me of some railways station toilets in Melbourne, Australia, neighbourhoods not exactly known for their lack of crime at night (except for the cleanliness and lack of graffiti).

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: BMI727
Posted 2010-07-10 04:20:15 and read 32767 times.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
stuff to give a view of the way of life if you know what I mean.

There is absolutely no way in hell they would allow someone to take pictures or real North Korean life.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: vandenheuvel
Posted 2010-07-10 04:44:03 and read 32767 times.

Great trip report. I like your writing and photos.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: EL-AL
Posted 2010-07-10 07:47:47 and read 32767 times.

Hey Alex,

Thank you for this opportunity to take a look at North Korea, and it's airline. This is very special.

Were you allowed to walk freely in the country, or you had to be escorted all the time?

Still, visiting a country holding 200,000 people in concentration camps, did I mention that you are braver then me?

Good Job, as always,

LY

[Edited 2010-07-10 08:21:49]

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Thule
Posted 2010-07-10 08:09:18 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for the TR! It's always bizarre seeing Air Koryo / North Korea TRs. Maybe it's just because I'm American, but I find it hard to praise things like their service and their meals when I consider how many North Koreans will never have a meal that "nice" in their lives. Remember that Koryo exists mainly to shuttle the ruling class around.

Maybe I'm just still reeling from the documentary I watched: http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-gui...l/vice-guide-to-north-korea-1-of-3

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
This is Air Koryo – so there really is no opportunity to buy an online ticket.

I guess Kim Jong Il hasn't invented that yet.

He's too busy personally leading the NK team to its 20th World Cup victory!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-10 09:05:12 and read 32767 times.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 9):
Did taking any pictures on board as well as in the city cause you any problems in general as the security we all know is very tight.

= Well, all pictures have to be pre-approved. Your guide tells you if it is appropriate to take a picture or not ... and you NEVER take a picture without permission. Taking unnecessary pictures mostly undermines your guide and puts her/him at risk.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 9):
The meal looks very nice and filling and it was odd to see that kitchen style metal work place on the aircraft.

= Yes.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 9):

Finally congrats on your 100th TR! Each one has been unique in their own way and I look forward to plenty more in the future.

= Thanks Sandeep. I am glad I could provide coverage here on some random strange routings.

Quoting signol (Reply 10):
Does this mean you relaxed your rule on not doing Trip Reports on work trips?

= Haha. Not quite. This was a trip "earned" through my professional credentials ... it wasn't really a work trip and I was not representing my clients and/or employer.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 11):
US airlines should go to Pyong Yang to get training on how to prepare a proper meal.

= LOL.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
I guess Kim Jong Il hasn't invented that yet.

= LOL.

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 13):
As you know I always follow your TRs, and you have flown to some pretty cool places. I however must ask you this, Including this destination or any others, have you ever felt scared to enter a country?

= Thanks. I have felt scared to enter countries ... but you would be shocked to hear what countries make me feel unsafe as I enter them (or, deal with their Immigration authorities).

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 14):
Fascinating and an incredibly interesting TR - it has certainly made for a enjoyable Saturday morning read!

= Thank you.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 14):

Loved the galley shot, definately something from a bygone era although I would have to question the usefulness of that exit door...

= Yup.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
- Just more pictures of the city, buildings, countryside, stuff to give a view of the way of life if you know what I mean.

Thanks

Mark

= Mark, I will try to post some other pictures. I think it would be hard to put pics of "the way of life" as everything is monitored.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):
You could not have chosen a better airline to dedicate your 100 Trip Report. Truly excellent!

The airline seems to be of another world, no only the interiors look something of the past but service seems to be as well something we have already forgotten...

= Thanks Roger. BTW, are you in Barcelona? My love-interest is moving there and I will be visiting with increased frequency.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 16):

Last Monday there was program on TV about North Korea and the images they show are quite exactly the same you show up here... probably the only ones allowed to foreigners; and they commented on the necessity to take pictures of the statue of the Great Leader just in full, the two tube stations allowed to visitors... They talked as well about their national intranet service which filters and cuts out all the "unnecessary" web pages.

= Ya. There is also a lot of other interesting things ... if you note the picture of the Great Leader (the one whose pic I have) ... it is of course the entire body. Also, to take a picture here, you MUST bring flowers.

Quoting Pagophilus (Reply 17):
That photo of the aeroplane's metal toilet reminds me of some railways station toilets in Melbourne, Australia, neighbourhoods not exactly known for their lack of crime at night (except for the cleanliness and lack of graffiti).

= LOL.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 19):
Great trip report. I like your writing and photos.

= Thank you.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
Were you allowed to walk freely in the country, or you had to be escorted all the time?

= No, I was escorted all the time ... it is a surreal experience ... especially for someone like me.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
Still, visiting a country holding 200,000 people in concentration camps, did I mention that you are braver then me?

= Thanks. The thing is ... as a visitor, you'd never feel scared ... strange and weird, yes. Scared, no.

Quoting Thule (Reply 21):
Thanks for the TR! It's always bizarre seeing Air Koryo / North Korea TRs. Maybe it's just because I'm American, but I find it hard to praise things like their service and their meals when I consider how many North Koreans will never have a meal that "nice" in their lives. Remember that Koryo exists mainly to shuttle the ruling class around.

= I gave considerable amount of attention thinking whether I should go. Ultimately, I decided that travel broadens the mind and no more so than in North Korea. We all have our opinions on countries and decide on personal embargoes, etc ... but sometimes we do them arbitrarily without recognizing how our actions may actually translate. While I do believe that 75% of my trip was completely from the "Truman Show", the rest were genuine interactions ... and those which perhaps had the greatest impact on my host citizens ... and ANY contact with Koreans is beneficial to breaking down barriers. As much as I thought so many of them were humorless and robotic, my limited real interactions also pointed to people who were extremely proud and living a life with dignity overcoming tremendous adversity with warmth.

Saludos, and thanks for reading,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: SirThomas
Posted 2010-07-10 09:58:04 and read 32767 times.

Great trip report!...

I read this in anticipation of my own trip to the DPRK next month, and I must say, for an avid historian like myself...
this has whetted my appetite even more so!

I think the part of me that most wants to visit that eerie, totalitarian, place, is solely because no-one really visits there and that I always believe you have to visit places to dispel the rumours... cause lets face it, no one country is particularly friendly with old man Kim's fantasy-world are they?  

Did you visit Pyongyang alone, or venture further afield?

Anyways, it's nice to know you had a good time there...

Tom

(God, I hope I get to ride one of the old Soviet planes!) 

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MH017
Posted 2010-07-10 11:00:13 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 8):
When I got my mobile phone back, it was wrapped in a brown envelope, then in a plastic bag, and then sealed with those wax-seals.

Alex,

Did you wipe-out all your SMS and phone-numbers from your mobile ?

No doubt, these have all been checked before putting your phone in the aforementioned envelope and plastic bag...  Wow!

Would love to see more city pictures, if you have them...

That TU154 galley is priceless !!!   

Cheers,

Pieter...   

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: modesto2
Posted 2010-07-10 11:09:21 and read 32767 times.

Amazing trip report. Thanks for the comprehensive airplane report and the interesting images of the country.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2010-07-10 13:55:08 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

Outstanding report and pictures about an airline most of us probably won't ever get the chance to fly. You definitely found something special for your trip report no. 100.

I also liked your pictures of North Korea which gave an interesting view into this unknown country.

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: chepos
Posted 2010-07-10 14:19:31 and read 32767 times.

Thank you so much for sharing, I have been eagerly waiting for an Air Koryo trip report.
Did I see a bar of soap in the aircraft lavatory, I don' recall recently recently seeing that in aircarft lavatory (most airlines use liquid soap)- the galley itself looks like something that belongs in a home rather than an aircraft galley.
My father and a few relatives tell me stories of flying on Cubana de Aviaction and I could never imagine what it could be like, but after seeing your pictures I can only imgaine the Cubana experience must be similar to the Air Koryo experience. Two communist countries flying vintage Russian aircraft around with old antiquated interiors.
Was your flight a chartered flight or was it a scheduled flight with tour groups thrown in the mix?

Regards,

Chepos

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Aleksandar
Posted 2010-07-10 17:37:21 and read 32767 times.

Wooow, every time I find your new TR it gets more and more fascinating. Recently, I watched some eerie documentary about life in North Korea and when you mentioned blackouts in Pyongyang, it reminded me of that movie...

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Longhornmaniac
Posted 2010-07-10 18:01:15 and read 32767 times.

Alex, this trip report has to be one of my favorite's, simply because it is so exotic. I actually felt like I was there, which is an amazing feat in a narrative-type description. DPRK is a really unique place, and the culture behind it just completely fascinates me.

Again, very, very well done! I'd love to see some more pictures from Pyongyang if you've got them!

Did your "minder" speak English/Spanish? Did you communicate with them? What was that relationship like?

Cheers,
Cameron

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: FlyboyOz
Posted 2010-07-10 21:24:09 and read 32767 times.

Interesting report and photos. I am surprised that there were lots of westerners in the cabin to North Korea. I would like to go there one day!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-10 21:58:53 and read 32767 times.

Quoting SirThomas (Reply 23):

I read this in anticipation of my own trip to the DPRK next month, and I must say, for an avid historian like myself...
this has whetted my appetite even more so!

= You are going to have an interesting time I am sure ... so much of it will be exactly how you have prepared for in your mind ... and yet, so much of it will be so very different.

Quoting SirThomas (Reply 23):

Did you visit Pyongyang alone, or venture further afield?

= Went to the border and to the beach  .

Quoting SirThomas (Reply 23):

(God, I hope I get to ride one of the old Soviet planes!)

= Try flying an internal flight if you can ... you get the IL8.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 24):


Did you wipe-out all your SMS and phone-numbers from your mobile ?

No doubt, these have all been checked before putting your phone in the aforementioned envelope and plastic bag... Wow!

= Pieter, who do you work for  ? The only thing they would find is a little embarrassing SMS' shared with my Israeli ... else, harmless.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 24):
Would love to see more city pictures, if you have them...

= Will try to put some more up ... a lot of them have others, and this is one trip each person is sensitive about.

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 25):
Amazing trip report. Thanks for the comprehensive airplane report and the interesting images of the country.

= You're welcome.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 26):

Outstanding report and pictures about an airline most of us probably won't ever get the chance to fly. You definitely found something special for your trip report no. 100.

= Thank you. Ya, this was special indeed.

Quoting chepos (Reply 27):
Was your flight a chartered flight or was it a scheduled flight with tour groups thrown in the mix?

= I am still trying to find out!

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 28):
Recently, I watched some eerie documentary about life in North Korea and when you mentioned blackouts in Pyongyang, it reminded me of that movie...

= Do you remember what the documentary was called? Ya, the blackout was creepie ... total darkness, except the restaurant we went to of course.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 29):
Alex, this trip report has to be one of my favorite's, simply because it is so exotic. I actually felt like I was there, which is an amazing feat in a narrative-type description. DPRK is a really unique place, and the culture behind it just completely fascinates me.

= Thanks Cameron. You must visit! Are you all settled back in? I might be headed to Austin for a weekend ... let's see. Am in Houston for work and might check out what the buzz is all about.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 29):

Did your "minder" speak English/Spanish? Did you communicate with them? What was that relationship like?

= English. At first, cold ... and then you gradually win trust by doing what you were briefed on ... like taking pics, etc.

Quoting FlyboyOz (Reply 30):
Interesting report and photos. I am surprised that there were lots of westerners in the cabin to North Korea. I would like to go there one day!

= Ya - our group, tour group, and that's it. Interestingly, JCL was all Chinese or Koreans.

Saludos and thanks for reading,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: colts001
Posted 2010-07-10 22:01:57 and read 32767 times.

A unique trip report, most of your trip reports are different in some way new airline or new routing etc but this one is fitting for your 100th trip report. Congrats on your 100th trip report and hope to read many more exotic trip reports!!!!!!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: reifel
Posted 2010-07-11 07:25:55 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex, what a great report for such a special occasion!

I was impressed to see that you guys were allowed to do so many pictures onboard. Food looks great and flying a classic russian jet is special enough, Air Koryo even more... I hope you enjoyed your trip there and nice to see picture from there. Seems like they have continued work on the huge hotel according to your pictures.

The boarding card and fan is sweet   When I was very small, Early 1980's we used to live in Zhanjhiang in Southern China. In the summer when we flew home to Europe every year special CAAC flights were arranged to Hong Kong and we received the same fans and type of boarding passes. Those were times when overbooked flights were solved by putting foldable chairs in the aisle...

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-11 16:05:55 and read 32767 times.

Quoting colts001 (Reply 32):
A unique trip report, most of your trip reports are different in some way new airline or new routing etc but this one is fitting for your 100th trip report. Congrats on your 100th trip report and hope to read many more exotic trip reports!!!!!!

= Thanks a lot - we will see about the next 100  .

Quoting reifel (Reply 33):
was impressed to see that you guys were allowed to do so many pictures onboard. Food looks great and flying a classic russian jet is special enough, Air Koryo even more... I hope you enjoyed your trip there and nice to see picture from there. Seems like they have continued work on the huge hotel according to your pictures.

= Thank you. I was actually surprised that someone did not mind me taking the picture ... especially of the "discreet" spy who is in one of my shots seated.

Quoting reifel (Reply 33):
The boarding card and fan is sweet When I was very small, Early 1980's we used to live in Zhanjhiang in Southern China. In the summer when we flew home to Europe every year special CAAC flights were arranged to Hong Kong and we received the same fans and type of boarding passes. Those were times when overbooked flights were solved by putting foldable chairs in the aisle...

= Wow. This is pretty amazing. Why did you live in Zhanjhiang? I have actually been there!

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: vietsky
Posted 2010-07-11 20:55:02 and read 32767 times.

Oh my god! Great trip report. I have been waiting to see what inside Air Koryo for years.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(I wonder what each of the captains think looking at the other)

BTw, if I was a captains of DPRK, I will think: thanks to our dear leader, my a/c has three engines, which is better than SK which only have 2 engines.   J/k

Vietsky.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Coal
Posted 2010-07-12 01:44:06 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for the very unusual report! Always good to read about such obscure carriers.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Unlike most carriers who use the Norman Foster designed T3 @ PEK, Air Koryo uses T1. So swap the beautiful terminal filled with white people with a functional basic building with people who look as diverse as China’s increasingly fascinating foreign policy. There are the few white people taking KL to AMS … but other than that, tons of flights to the “Stans” and those random other routes.

Actually that is T2, not T1. Other than KL, KE, and a handful of other int'l carriers, MU and CZ operate out of here. T3 is almost exclusively CA (and SC - HU I believe operates out of T2 as well).

Cheers
Coal

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: jumpseat2l
Posted 2010-07-12 04:34:13 and read 32767 times.

Congratulations on TR#100. Fascinating report. If you haven't, may I suggest you read "Nothing to Envy." Recently published book by a Western reporter about the lives of ordinary North Koreans. A very compelling read. Thanks again for a great report.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: mtaabq
Posted 2010-07-12 09:00:16 and read 32767 times.

Fascinating! Utterly fascinating! Thank you so much, Alex, for sharing that.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2010-07-12 12:29:33 and read 32767 times.

A great TR once again Alex. All of us are continuously anticipating your next installment and you never disappoint us  
Is this trip going to affect your ability to enter some other countries like, for example the US? I'm guessing not, given that, as you said, you are in Houston right now but this could simply be attributed to the fact that you posses multiple passports. Did you get a DPRK stamp on your passport? Which passport did you have to use for this trip? Thanks for the great TR, once more!

[Edited 2010-07-12 12:32:35]

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: turk223
Posted 2010-07-12 18:03:19 and read 32767 times.

Absolutely fascinating! You don't need to be lauded, but your trip reports are always so great... always!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-07-13 00:16:57 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

Wow, what an uniquely fascinating airline to commemorate your 100th trip report. For sure you were blessed being chosen to join the exchange group to North Korea.

TU5 looks indeed very well maintained despite her age. Where have you got your seat assigned? At the rear? What a great legroom you have got in Y. And just look at the meal offering! It has been a long time that I have seen such quantity in Y for that flight leg. I assume you have sent the photo to LH?

What intrigues me more is the fact that the crew members allowed passengers taking photos on their leisure and that on airline of a country which censors almost everything. Totally different from what I have experienced on board of a Spanish carrier earlier this year.

Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful report.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: HAM
Posted 2010-07-13 06:13:07 and read 32767 times.

Hi there,

Great report! I especially liked that galley photo.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I believe this would be the second report on Air Koryo, and the first featuring their TU-154M.

Actually (at least according to your pics) you flew on the exact same plane as myself last year, P-561, which is a Tu-154B-2. Even better than a -M, as those will still be around for a while.

Cheers!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-13 08:13:06 and read 32767 times.

Quoting vietsky (Reply 35):

BTw, if I was a captains of DPRK, I will think: thanks to our dear leader, my a/c has three engines, which is better than SK which only have 2 engines. J/k

Vietsky.

= Jaja. I guess this would have been even more appropriate when they flew the IL6.

Quoting Coal (Reply 36):
Actually that is T2, not T1. Other than KL, KE, and a handful of other int'l carriers, MU and CZ operate out of here. T3 is almost exclusively CA (and SC - HU I believe operates out of T2 as well).

= Ya. You're absolutely right. I always confuse my T1 and T2 at PEK.

Quoting jumpseat2l (Reply 37):
Congratulations on TR#100. Fascinating report. If you haven't, may I suggest you read "Nothing to Envy." Recently published book by a Western reporter about the lives of ordinary North Koreans. A very compelling read. Thanks again for a great report.

= I have read the book and found it interesting.

Quoting mtaabq (Reply 38):
Fascinating! Utterly fascinating! Thank you so much, Alex, for sharing that.

= Anytime.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 39):
Is this trip going to affect your ability to enter some other countries like, for example the US? I'm guessing not, given that, as you said, you are in Houston right now but this could simply be attributed to the fact that you posses multiple passports. Did you get a DPRK stamp on your passport? Which passport did you have to use for this trip? Thanks for the great TR, once more!

= Well, DPRK does NOT stamp passports. Moreover, the visa is a single piece of paper that is NOT attached to the passport. It is sort of the same thing that TRNC has.

I used my Venezuelan passport ... thought, Mr. Chavez would be best suited to help me out should anything happen  . I only use the VZ passport to travel to exotic countries.

Quoting turk223 (Reply 40):
Absolutely fascinating! You don't need to be lauded, but your trip reports are always so great... always!

= Thanks.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 41):
Where have you got your seat assigned? At the rear? What a great legroom you have got in Y. And just look at the meal offering! It has been a long time that I have seen such quantity in Y for that flight leg. I assume you have sent the photo to LH?

= I was assigned a seat in the middle - in the first cabin. Haha - great idea about sending Lufthansa the meal. Seriously, LH JCL food is MUCH worse than this.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 41):
What intrigues me more is the fact that the crew members allowed passengers taking photos on their leisure and that on airline of a country which censors almost everything. Totally different from what I have experienced on board of a Spanish carrier earlier this year.

= This is a very interesting thought and I had not thought it like this. What happened to you on the Spanish carrier?

Quoting HAM (Reply 42):
Actually (at least according to your pics) you flew on the exact same plane as myself last year, P-561, which is a Tu-154B-2. Even better than a -M, as those will still be around for a while.

= You're right! When were you there?

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-07-13 08:53:32 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 43):
What happened to you on the Spanish carrier?

I got scalded when the purser caught me taking a picture inside the cabin that it was not allowed to take pictures at all, not even out of the window due to the safety reason.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: HAM
Posted 2010-07-13 11:14:07 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 43):
= You're right! When were you there?

Last year in May/June for a week. There´s a TR on my flight here on a.net as well.

By the way, my passport was stamped and the visa was a full-page sticker attached to the passport. Funnily, I even got two stamps, exit and re-entry, for visiting the DMZ (I guess because the border runs through those shacks which I visited?!).

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: SirThomas
Posted 2010-07-13 12:18:42 and read 32767 times.

Quoting HAM (Reply 45):
By the way, my passport was stamped and the visa was a full-page sticker attached to the passport. Funnily, I even got two stamps, exit and re-entry, for visiting the DMZ (I guess because the border runs through those shacks which I visited?!).

That is odd   I think they normally only stamp if you do the entry/exit by train... I'll confirm next month (Air in/Train out). As for the Visa's, they are sticker types for everyone that isn't a yank/South Korean I'm sure.
Tom

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MIAspotter
Posted 2010-07-13 12:29:53 and read 32767 times.

Alex! what can I say... another great report and what a way to celebrate 100 TRs than with a JS flight...

Interesting read, North Korea seems like a fascinating place to visit, needless to say as much as I love to travel and visiting places I don't think I will have the guts to visit NK, being monitored and told what to do and where and when to go is not my idea of a "Holiday"

The closest I guess I will ever go is to the DMZ (from the South side)

I am anyways always interested in reading and watching videos about the country.

I have a friend who went there recently during his Round The World trip, he told me it was a bizarre, gray place but found it interesting that the people seemed happy with their way of life...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(I wonder what each of the captains think looking at the other

Hmm the KE captain might say, "Mine is bigger, safer, faster, a billion years technically more advanced, and more comfortable than yours, and I am actually free to express this opinion"

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 22):
= Thanks Roger. BTW, are you in Barcelona? My love-interest is moving there and I will be visiting with increased frequency.

I am also in BCN, give me a shout when you are around, always nice to share a drink with a fellow Venezuelan. 

MIAspotter.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: kiramakora
Posted 2010-07-13 15:29:02 and read 32767 times.

Incredible trip report Alex. I would like to join the chorus in applauding you. After DPRK, is there really any country you have left to go to?!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: IrishAyes
Posted 2010-07-13 16:06:39 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I am almost convinced of sending Lufthansa this meal to remind them that the portions they serve are good for children.

Love it! Great TR...

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-13 16:17:03 and read 32767 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 44):
I got scalded when the purser caught me taking a picture inside the cabin that it was not allowed to take pictures at all, not even out of the window due to the safety reason.

= Hey - I am curious - what airline was it? And, what routing? I am really surprised this happened to you in Spain. They are usually very relaxed about these things and that is why I am curious.

Quoting HAM (Reply 45):

Last year in May/June for a week. There´s a TR on my flight here on a.net as well.

By the way, my passport was stamped and the visa was a full-page sticker attached to the passport. Funnily, I even got two stamps, exit and re-entry, for visiting the DMZ (I guess because the border runs through those shacks which I visited?!).

= Can you please post the link to your TR? I tried searching for it and did not succeed. I am surprised they stamped you both ways - for me, my visa was a piece of paper with my picture issued by the DPRK Embassy in Beijing, and they did not stamp either way.

Quoting SirThomas (Reply 46):

That is odd I think they normally only stamp if you do the entry/exit by train... I'll confirm next month (Air in/Train out). As for the Visa's, they are sticker types for everyone that isn't a yank/South Korean I'm sure.
Tom

= A friend of mine from India did the trip last year and they also did not stamp. He took the flight from Beijing and then took the train back from Pyongyang. I believe it was organized by a Beijing based tour company whose name escapes me now.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 47):
Alex! what can I say... another great report and what a way to celebrate 100 TRs than with a JS flight...

= Thank you.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 47):

Interesting read, North Korea seems like a fascinating place to visit, needless to say as much as I love to travel and visiting places I don't think I will have the guts to visit NK, being monitored and told what to do and where and when to go is not my idea of a "Holiday"

= LOL. Well, a lot of my friends would agree with you  .

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 47):
I am also in BCN, give me a shout when you are around, always nice to share a drink with a fellow Venezuelan.

MIAspotter.

= DEFINITELY!

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 48):
Incredible trip report Alex. I would like to join the chorus in applauding you. After DPRK, is there really any country you have left to go to?!

= Thanks A.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 49):
Love it! Great TR...

= Thank you.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: TN727
Posted 2010-07-13 20:29:42 and read 32767 times.

EXCELLENT REPORT. I always love reading your reports.
Just a pipe dream, but I will get there one day.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: HAM
Posted 2010-07-14 08:01:33 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
= Can you please post the link to your TR? I tried searching for it and did not succeed. I am surprised they stamped you both ways - for me, my visa was a piece of paper with my picture issued by the DPRK Embassy in Beijing, and they did not stamp either way.

Sure, here's the link: ZRH-AMS-PEK-FNJ On KL And JS, Incl. Tupolev 154B (by HAM Jun 16 2009 in Trip Reports)

I actually got 4 stamps in total - I meant to say that I received two additional stamps only for "crossing the border" in the DMZ.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-14 08:25:27 and read 32767 times.

Quoting TN727 (Reply 51):
EXCELLENT REPORT. I always love reading your reports.
Just a pipe dream, but I will get there one day.

= Thank you. Come on ... if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way!

Quoting HAM (Reply 52):
Sure, here's the link: ZRH-AMS-PEK-FNJ On KL And JS, Incl. Tupolev 154B (by HAM Jun 16 2009 in Trip Reports)

= Great TR. It was fascinating comparing both of ours. Did you notice that the food served to me was absolutely identical?

Quoting HAM (Reply 52):
actually got 4 stamps in total - I meant to say that I received two additional stamps only for "crossing the border" in the DMZ.

= WOW! This is pretty amazing ... though, I am OK with not having DPRK stamps. Where did you cross the border at the DMZ? There is the blue line and the house where we are allowed in, but I don't recall any actual crossing facility. Or, was this like a "tourist" stamp?

Finally, I wonder if this has been closed due to heightedned security and increased hostilities between the 2 Koreas?

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: HAM
Posted 2010-07-14 08:42:59 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 53):
= Great TR. It was fascinating comparing both of ours. Did you notice that the food served to me was absolutely identical?

Thanks! Yes, I noticed that the food was the same... mine was a bit on the cold side though.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 53):
= WOW! This is pretty amazing ... though, I am OK with not having DPRK stamps. Where did you cross the border at the DMZ? There is the blue line and the house where we are allowed in, but I don't recall any actual crossing facility. Or, was this like a "tourist" stamp?

Well, I didn´t actually cross the border (i.e. walking on South Korean soil with the option of staying there). That´s why I put "crossing the border" in quotation marks - I went into one of the shacks right on the border line and crossed the border in there. The actual exit to the South was blocked by two soldiers. I learnt that the North and the South take turns for showing their tourists around, i.e. in the morning it´s the North and in the afternoon the South (or vice versa, don't remember).

Here's a photo I found, looking from the North to the South (not taken by myself - I have made some photos too, but am too lazy to upload them): http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1IBpbqDi8U...AAAAAAAcs/Oc3JfEDQRWM/s400/DMZ.jpg

You clearly see the border line in the middle of the shacks. This was crossed within the shack by our group, which seemed to be sufficient for the DPRK authorities to stamp our passports....

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: The777Man
Posted 2010-07-14 09:50:44 and read 32767 times.

What an amazing way to celebrate trip report 100 for you!!! Fascinating report on a very unusual airline and destination. Food looks pretty good! I like the fan, neat.

The777Man

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-07-14 10:05:31 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 50):
= Hey - I am curious - what airline was it? And, what routing?

It happened to me on board of Vueling en route from AMS to BCN. I have posted a trip report of it as well. Apart of the reprimand the cabin attendants were nice though.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2010-07-14 10:37:01 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

What a great surprise and present that you offer to this community for your 100th TR!!! you desserve a thunders of applause  

Some airports worldwide are named according to a local personality/president, instead of this it's interrestiong to see that in DPRK, they directly display a massive picture of the president.

Did you see many foreigners/tourists overthere?

Once again many thanks for this thrilling TR

East African spotter

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: globalflyer
Posted 2010-07-14 10:55:07 and read 32767 times.

Absolutely fascinating! What an incredible experience! Thanks again for sharing!

Cheers,
Liam

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2010-07-14 15:21:16 and read 32767 times.

Awesome trip report. I've been DYING to go to DPRK--ironic seeing as most North Koreans are literally dying--but I'm a little worried that it's going to be imminently bombed, or attack, and then be bombed.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: ckblah
Posted 2010-07-16 09:06:06 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for sharing your North Korean experience! Is it worthwhile to go to DPRK as a tourist? (discounting that it's the most reclusive state in the world)

Cheers!
ck

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: gunsontheroof
Posted 2010-07-16 16:36:15 and read 32767 times.

Absolutely fantastic report! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on #100! I'm insanely jealous of your trip--what an opportunity! Nice photos as well--is the Ryugyong Hotel still unoccupied? That metro station is absolutely out of this world--amazing!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: kiramakora
Posted 2010-07-20 00:11:36 and read 32767 times.

Wow. Cool report. I join the chorus in singing your praise and also wanting more pictures!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-20 01:27:49 and read 32767 times.

Quoting HAM (Reply 54):

Well, I didn´t actually cross the border (i.e. walking on South Korean soil with the option of staying there). That´s why I put "crossing the border" in quotation marks - I went into one of the shacks right on the border line and crossed the border in there. The actual exit to the South was blocked by two soldiers. I learnt that the North and the South take turns for showing their tourists around, i.e. in the morning it´s the North and in the afternoon the South (or vice versa, don't remember).

Here's a photo I found, looking from the North to the South (not taken by myself - I have made some photos too, but am too lazy to upload them): http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1IBpbqDi8U...AAAAAAAcs/Oc3JfEDQRWM/s400/DMZ.jpg

You clearly see the border line in the middle of the shacks. This was crossed within the shack by our group, which seemed to be sufficient for the DPRK authorities to stamp our passports....

= Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I went to the exact line and have a similar picture ... will post when I get home. I did not have the whole stamping at the border however. I am envious. Curios though - who organized your trip?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 55):
What an amazing way to celebrate trip report 100 for you!!! Fascinating report on a very unusual airline and destination. Food looks pretty good! I like the fan, neat.

The777Man

= Thanks man. I am going to send you a PM as well ... might be in LAX and see if you're around.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 56):
It happened to me on board of Vueling en route from AMS to BCN. I have posted a trip report of it as well. Apart of the reprimand the cabin attendants were nice though.

= Aah ... yes ... now I remember reading about it. Weird as I have not had problems w/ Vueling.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 57):
What a great surprise and present that you offer to this community for your 100th TR!!! you desserve a thunders of applause

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 57):
Did you see many foreigners/tourists overthere?

= Yes and no ... my group was all foreigners ... but in the country, no. BTW, are you in Rwanda?

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 58):
Absolutely fascinating! What an incredible experience! Thanks again for sharing!

Cheers,
Liam

= Liam, thanks!

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 59):
Awesome trip report. I've been DYING to go to DPRK--ironic seeing as most North Koreans are literally dying--but I'm a little worried that it's going to be imminently bombed, or attack, and then be bombed.

= Stop being a telenovella queen ... you'll be fine. GO!!! BTW, I will respond to your PM soon as I might be at EZE on a business trip to MVD ...

Quoting ckblah (Reply 60):
Thanks for sharing your North Korean experience! Is it worthwhile to go to DPRK as a tourist? (discounting that it's the most reclusive state in the world)

Cheers!
ck

= CK. Absolutely worthwhile to go.

Quoting gunsontheroof (Reply 61):
Absolutely fantastic report! Thank you for sharing and congratulations on #100! I'm insanely jealous of your trip--what an opportunity! Nice photos as well--is the Ryugyong Hotel still unoccupied? That metro station is absolutely out of this world--amazing!

= Yup. Still unoccupied ... I would love to go inside and see how eerie it might be ...

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 62):
Wow. Cool report. I join the chorus in singing your praise and also wanting more pictures!

= Soon Mr. A  .

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-07-21 14:35:47 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

your 100th report is probably the best you have ever posted - what a pleasure to read! Nevertheless, I wouldn't visit that country as long as I would be regarded as and treated like a threat.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
they are one of the few “flag” carriers with no website

Not surprising. Would be interesting to know what's the percentage of foreigners on their flights.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The meal was rounded with North Korean beer (several runs)

That's what I would really like to try!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated ...

Wow...


PH

[Edited 2010-07-21 14:40:40]

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: luisde8cd
Posted 2010-07-22 19:36:24 and read 32767 times.

Amazing 100th trip report, this is a 5/5 quality addition to the TR database indeed. Interesting perspective of a trip to the most secretive country in the planet. Great job!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 43):
I used my Venezuelan passport ... thought, Mr. Chavez would be best suited to help me out should anything happen  . I only use the VZ passport to travel to exotic countries.

Do we have an embassy in FNJ??

Saludos,
Luis

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-22 23:17:14 and read 32767 times.

Hi Alex,

Another excellent report of an airline hardly covered, let alone in depth! A very interesting read on a route that I doubt I'll be doing in a hurry. Nice pics to add to it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
A few of us had qualified on a special approved “technical exchange” that would help DPRK and her airline industry. I had always wanted to go to the “other” Korea and this would be a fantastic opportunity to spend a week in the mysterious country. The visa was to be picked up from their Embassy in Beijing and a group of us were allocated a “special” flight to take us there.

Indeed, it sounds like a great way to get in and see the country.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So swap the beautiful terminal filled with white people with a functional basic building with people who look as diverse as China’s increasingly fascinating foreign policy.

Matching with what you'd be arriving to in FNJ.. You can't be spoiled by having a flash as terminal to depart from!  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I suddenly had this huge grin thinking of why I travel, and what a great industry this is. As I entered the aircraft, I was immediately swept to another era. I had entered a “coach” bus with an interior that was reminiscent of 1960s/1970s train. There were big chairs in JCL and the entire setting was something from a movie. To get to YCL, I passed through the galley with its metal tea pots and taps … it looked more like a galley of a train, than on a plane.

I guess they don't really have the money to upgrade the cabin.. But nostalgic cabins are a pleasant change for the usual product in Economy worldwide these days.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The seat itself was like any other YCL seat. The clothed seat was very comfortable and provided more recline than you would get in many US JCL seats

Very nice!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was keenly waiting for lunch wondering what is served on Air Koryo … and boy, was I not disappointed! It was actually quite a great meal, and better food than I have encountered on many international long-haul JCL’s. I am almost convinced of sending Lufthansa this meal to remind them that the portions they serve are good for children.

IMO if there's one way to impress visitors to North Korea, they may as well try making that mark in the air on the way in.. That meal looks wonderful and filling. As good, if not better than any Y class meal anywhere in the world.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The meal was rounded with North Korean beer (several runs),

Better service than on an EK A380!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Arrival in Pyongyang was memorable as the plane touches down on a runway far away from the terminal building and then taxis in. As you do that, you pass a bunch of “exotic” animals such as the IL-18 and the IL-62. You then watch the terminal with “Dear Leader” and the “Great Leader” welcome you and remind you (just in case you had any doubt) that you have officially entered the country. At arrivals, your laptop and your mobile phone is confiscated ... and you then begin your journey of the Hermit Kingdom.

Arriving at FNJ looks like a step back into yesteryear into some USSR territory! Talk about control, taking your phone and laptop off you.. At least you were able to take pictures.


Thanks for a wonderful read and for sharing your experience with all of us!

Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MIAspotter
Posted 2010-07-22 23:25:02 and read 32767 times.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 65):
Do we have an embassy in FNJ??

The government was planning to open one, but I think there is only one office in Beijing.

MIAspotter.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-07-26 05:22:33 and read 32767 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 64):
your 100th report is probably the best you have ever posted - what a pleasure to read! Nevertheless, I wouldn't visit that country as long as I would be regarded as and treated like a threat.

= Thanks PH. It was definitely an unique experience. Thing is ... I never felt like I was under threat. The entire thing is surreal though ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 64):
Not surprising. Would be interesting to know what's the percentage of foreigners on their flights.

= PH, this brings an interesting point ... do you think they DPRK administration keeps good statistics on this?

Curious PH ... can you please tell me what their active fleet consists of? I am trying to get on a IL6 flight desperately!

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 65):
Amazing 100th trip report, this is a 5/5 quality addition to the TR database indeed. Interesting perspective of a trip to the most secretive country in the planet. Great job!

= Gracias Luis.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 65):
Do we have an embassy in FNJ??

= No.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):
Another excellent report of an airline hardly covered, let alone in depth! A very interesting read on a route that I doubt I'll be doing in a hurry. Nice pics to add to it.

= Thanks Nicholas.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):

Matching with what you'd be arriving to in FNJ.. You can't be spoiled by having a flash as terminal to depart from!

= LOL. True. All about perspective I guess  .

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):
I guess they don't really have the money to upgrade the cabin.. But nostalgic cabins are a pleasant change for the usual product in Economy worldwide these days.

= Ya -

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):
IMO if there's one way to impress visitors to North Korea, they may as well try making that mark in the air on the way in.. That meal looks wonderful and filling. As good, if not better than any Y class meal anywhere in the world.

= I think the only consistently better YCL meals are probably provided in South Asia.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The meal was rounded with North Korean beer (several runs),

Better service than on an EK A380!

= LOL. Do you think I should write to EK about recent JCL experiences and tell them that even Air Koryo is better in YCL  ?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 66):
Arriving at FNJ looks like a step back into yesteryear into some USSR territory! Talk about control, taking your phone and laptop off you.. At least you were able to take pictures.

= Yup. I wanted to write a return report, but I did not believe I was able to ...

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 67):
The government was planning to open one, but I think there is only one office in Beijing.

MIAspotter.

= I did not know that we had plans to open one.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: swissgabe
Posted 2010-07-28 04:32:17 and read 32767 times.

Great report. Seems like not a lot of changes since my trip with JS back in 2001. I flew PEK-FNJ vv on IL6. Wish I could have enjoyed their TU3 or TU5 too. The DPRK is another fascinating country, at least as far as you don't go into politics too much. Thanks abrelosojos!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: vio
Posted 2010-07-28 10:17:45 and read 32767 times.

Hello Alex,

Congratulations on your 100th report. I must say, you've really outdone yourself here, with a report that is interesting and fascinating. I've wanted to visit the DPRK for quite a long time, now and due to time I was unable to do so. I did visit South Korea last year and of course, I had to do go to the Korean DMZ at Panmunjom. I can understand the feeling you must have had when you landed in Pyongyang. I probably had the same feeling when I pulled up at the "Freedom House" while visiting the JSA. It was very strange to see North Korea with my own eyes and I'm absolutely fascinated by it.

When I was a young child, in the mid to late 80s I lived in, then, communist Romania. Ceausescu was good friends with Kim Il Sung and tried to "model" Romania after North Korea. While I lived there, we were not allowed to have any contacts with foreigners. For me, seeing german tourists was like seeing aliens. I always wondered where they came from, what they do with their daily lives, etc.

Now I want to go to North Korea and see it from the "other" perspective. Being the outsider, the "alien", I wonder how I will percieve that world.

Thank you so much for your report. I must say, it's probably my fav. report out here, because it's so unique, so rare and so intriguing.

Multumesc (Thank you, in Romanian)

Vio

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-07-28 15:11:06 and read 32767 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 68):
LOL. Do you think I should write to EK about recent JCL experiences and tell them that even Air Koryo is better in YCL ?

Haha. I am curious as to what the response would be like, if you receive one!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: BrusselsSouth
Posted 2010-07-30 20:33:40 and read 32767 times.

Great 100th report, fascinating airline and country !

Keep up the good work !

Regards
BrusselsSouth

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: aal151heavy
Posted 2010-08-01 22:34:52 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for sharing and giving us a fascinating and rare look!


Passing this along from a "rivet counter" friend:

Great report! P-561, the Air Koryo airliner that you flew and photgraphed, is a Tu-154B model, not a Tu-154M. Air Koryo only has Tu-154Bs. It is easy to differentiate the two models by looking at the engines. The 154B has Kuznetsov NK-8-2 engines with cascade vents for internal thrust reversers (similar to factory-configured 727s after 1968) , while the 154M has Soloviev D-30KU-154 engines with large external clamshell reversers (similar to DC-9s and Valsan-conversion 727s).


Ben

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-08-03 17:14:05 and read 32767 times.

Quoting swissgabe (Reply 69):
Great report. Seems like not a lot of changes since my trip with JS back in 2001. I flew PEK-FNJ vv on IL6. Wish I could have enjoyed their TU3 or TU5 too. The DPRK is another fascinating country, at least as far as you don't go into politics too much. Thanks abrelosojos!

= Wow. Cool. Did my experience mirror yours? Also, do you have pics of the IL-62 interiors?

Quoting vio (Reply 70):
Congratulations on your 100th report. I must say, you've really outdone yourself here, with a report that is interesting and fascinating. I've wanted to visit the DPRK for quite a long time, now and due to time I was unable to do so. I did visit South Korea last year and of course, I had to do go to the Korean DMZ at Panmunjom. I can understand the feeling you must have had when you landed in Pyongyang. I probably had the same feeling when I pulled up at the "Freedom House" while visiting the JSA. It was very strange to see North Korea with my own eyes and I'm absolutely fascinated by it.

= Thanks a lot. You should go visit DPRK ...

Quoting vio (Reply 70):
When I was a young child, in the mid to late 80s I lived in, then, communist Romania. Ceausescu was good friends with Kim Il Sung and tried to "model" Romania after North Korea. While I lived there, we were not allowed to have any contacts with foreigners. For me, seeing german tourists was like seeing aliens. I always wondered where they came from, what they do with their daily lives, etc.

= Ya - must have been a weird feeling growing up in Romania. When did you migrate to Canada?

Quoting vio (Reply 70):
Now I want to go to North Korea and see it from the "other" perspective. Being the outsider, the "alien", I wonder how I will percieve that world.
Quoting vio (Reply 70):
Thank you so much for your report. I must say, it's probably my fav. report out here, because it's so unique, so rare and so intriguing.

= Thanks a lot. Very kind words indeed.

Quoting vio (Reply 70):
Multumesc (Thank you, in Romanian)

Vio

= Cu plăcere Vio.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 71):
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 68):
LOL. Do you think I should write to EK about recent JCL experiences and tell them that even Air Koryo is better in YCL ?

Haha. I am curious as to what the response would be like, if you receive one!

= You know what's sad ... my complaints to EK have still gone unanswered.

Quoting BrusselsSouth (Reply 72):
Great 100th report, fascinating airline and country !

Keep up the good work !

Regards
BrusselsSouth

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting aal151heavy (Reply 73):
Passing this along from a "rivet counter" friend:
Quoting aal151heavy (Reply 73):
Great report! P-561, the Air Koryo airliner that you flew and photgraphed, is a Tu-154B model, not a Tu-154M. Air Koryo only has Tu-154Bs. It is easy to differentiate the two models by looking at the engines. The 154B has Kuznetsov NK-8-2 engines with cascade vents for internal thrust reversers (similar to factory-configured 727s after 1968) , while the 154M has Soloviev D-30KU-154 engines with large external clamshell reversers (similar to DC-9s and Valsan-conversion 727s).

= Wow. Cool. Thanks for this info!

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: malioil
Posted 2010-08-04 18:23:19 and read 32767 times.

Wow... you beat me to it ! I'm flying on this airline to Pyongyang before flying to more regional cities in this country within the month. Infact I leave on GF flight to DXB from where I connect to PEK on Hainan Airlines before spending some time in Beijing and attending neccessary breifings, etc. as part of a special delegation. This prepeared me better for what I should expect on this airline and in this nation.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-08-10 17:17:54 and read 32767 times.

Quoting malioil (Reply 75):
Wow... you beat me to it ! I'm flying on this airline to Pyongyang before flying to more regional cities in this country within the month. Infact I leave on GF flight to DXB from where I connect to PEK on Hainan Airlines before spending some time in Beijing and attending neccessary breifings, etc. as part of a special delegation. This prepeared me better for what I should expect on this airline and in this nation.

= Let me know if you need any advice ... you going as part of a delegation, or a tour group (such as Koryo?)

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2010-08-15 06:55:37 and read 32680 times.

Hi alex,

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 63):
Yes and no ... my group was all foreigners ... but in the country, no

What a strange feeling indeed! do you mean there is no other way to go there without TO?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 63):
BTW, are you in Rwanda?

no still in UK, but i will be there soon.

Look forward to read your next exotic trip, any clue in advance? 

Regards

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: castroprauxel
Posted 2010-08-18 07:34:53 and read 32224 times.

Abrelosojos, you're the king  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I am almost convinced of sending Lufthansa this meal to remind them that the portions they serve are good for children

LOL

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
promptly responded to any call button requests

Teach LH this one as well!


Wonderful trip report, as always!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-08-18 10:20:32 and read 32184 times.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 77):
Look forward to read your next exotic trip, any clue in advance?

= A return to Mama Afrika ...

Quoting castroprauxel (Reply 78):
Abrelosojos, you're the king

= Thank you  .

Quoting castroprauxel (Reply 78):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I am almost convinced of sending Lufthansa this meal to remind them that the portions they serve are good for children

LOL

= Trust me, I have become a "nuisance" to the F&B guy at LH ... right "WM"  ?

Quoting castroprauxel (Reply 78):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
promptly responded to any call button requests

Teach LH this one as well!

= LOL. One thing at a time. Though, my German colleague in Caracas tells me that it is not as important because Germans do not anticipate or need such customer service. My response is - do they not need? Or, they are not used to it, and hence settle? Your thoughts?

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: castroprauxel
Posted 2010-08-19 16:20:01 and read 31821 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 79):
Though, my German colleague in Caracas tells me that it is not as important because Germans do not anticipate or need such customer service

Well, I'll have to agree with that.. although LH has lots of other national flying with them, I don't believe taking the bad sides of german hospitality (or, the lack of) is the smartest thing to do. when I buzz the bell in the business class, I want service!

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: MEA-707
Posted 2010-08-20 06:46:31 and read 31635 times.

cool, I just see your TR now. I will go with a German group mid september and I look forward even more reading your great report. I hope at least we get a mix with 2 types out and back, not two times the same Tu-204. Your Tu-154B would be great, same as an Il-62 of course !

Topic: RE: Air Koryo JS 222: 12/APR/10: PEK-FNJ: Y Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2010-08-21 15:28:47 and read 31417 times.

Quoting castroprauxel (Reply 80):
Well, I'll have to agree with that.. although LH has lots of other national flying with them, I don't believe taking the bad sides of german hospitality (or, the lack of) is the smartest thing to do.


= Hey - don't worry - I am not approving of this method of service. And, I think the European carriers will increasingly struggle in the next 20 years when their efficient network is matched by non-European carriers with better service.

Quoting castroprauxel (Reply 80):
when I buzz the bell in the business class, I want service!

= LOL.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 81):
cool, I just see your TR now. I will go with a German group mid september and I look forward even more reading your great report. I hope at least we get a mix with 2 types out and back, not two times the same Tu-204. Your Tu-154B would be great, same as an Il-62 of course !

= Can I ask you who is organizing the trip? Is it the Beijing based outfit? Also, are you taking internal flights? Ask them to put you on the IL-18 ...

Saludos,
A.


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/