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Comrades, To North Korea! Part 2 - PEK To FNJ  
User currently offlinegialloboy From Ireland, joined Jan 2012, 10 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 15367 times:

Hi guys,

only a short report today, I will cover my flight from PEK to FNJ with air Koryo which was a J Class flight. I believe this is a first on this forum.

For details on my trip from DUB to PEK please go here:

Comrades, To North Korea! Part 1 - DUB To PEK (by gialloboy Sep 2 2012 in Trip Reports)

Woke up Tuesday morning with a rather bad hangover but managed to drag myself in the shower and ultimately into a cab to Beijing airport. Traffic was not too bad for a change and I arrived in Terminal 2 within 30 minutes. Did some last minute emails (no Internet in the DPRK!) and drank some Isotonic drinks which made me feel a lot better.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01875.jpg

Terminal 2 is nothing special and get's a lot of flights to obscure places, including 2 Air Koryo flights to FNJ (Air China flies to FNJ from Terminal 2 by the way)

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01876.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01877.jpg

At 11 am I made my way past security and on towards Air Koryo's checkin. They actually have a seperate J ceckin and I had my boarding card and lounge pass within 60 seconds. Funny think is that Korean Air operates checkin desks for their flight to Seoul in the very next row of desks!

Checkin desk (used for J PAX)

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01881.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01880.jpg

Boarding pass:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01882.jpg

Went past imigration and visited the lounge. Air Koryo uses the Air China lounge which is again used by Korean Air!

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01890.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01889.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01884.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01886.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01885.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01887.jpg

After a quick coffee our flight was called and I cought my first glimpse of my rise to the Hermit Kingdom - Air koryo's very recent aquisition and flagship, the TU204

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01891.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01892.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01888.jpg

Boarded quickly and settled into my comfy J seat. There are three rows in a 2-2 configuration, I was in row 2 and next to a quite friendly danish businessman. We had some good conversation about his frequent trips to Pyongyang.
Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside Air Koryo planes so all shots are "sneaked", the danish businessman acted as my "wingman" and kept an eye on the FAs. There had been cases of travellers made to delete all of their pictures so I was extra careful.

Air Koryo J class snaps, rather stylish and nice. I have no idea why they score only 1 star on Skytrax, I thought they were rather adequate for a 2 hour flight and probably offered more comfort than some US airlines.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01894.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01896.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01898.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01899.jpg

Legroom shot:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01895.jpg

Pushback and departure:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01897.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01900.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01901.jpg

Despite the flight being only 120 minutes we got a full meal, condisting of cold cuts and curry. Not bad at all! drinks were served also with a choice of water, soft drink and beer.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01902.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01903.jpg

Meal was followed by coffee. Note there was no milk, as everywhere in North Korea. Only powdered cream.

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01906-1.jpg

IFA consisted of a patriotic North Korean film:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01904.jpg

Thanks were paid to the Great Leader when we entered DPRK airspace and shortly after we touched down in FNJ. Surely this airport has one of the longest taxies anywhere in the world.

The TU204 at homebase in FNJ

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01907.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01908.jpg

Arrivals is pretty new, the old Soviet style terminal has been bulldozed to the ground. We were in within 30 minutes and they had our mobile phones  http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01909.jpg

Busy day in FNJ!

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01910.jpg

Terminal from the outside:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01911.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01914.jpg

The old tower was still there but the old terminal was gone:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01913.jpg

JS222 had also arrived:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01912.jpg

Into town and first stop Arch of Triumph:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01919.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01920.jpg

Buildings around the Arch and Kim Il Sung stadium:

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01918.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01917.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01916.jpg

People were training for the upcoming torch parade on Kim Il Sung square

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01923.jpg

Pyongyang at night

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01925.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01928.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01929.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01930.jpg

The next morning we got up at 05:30 as we were about to catch our first Air Koryo domestic flight!

Pyongyang at 6am can be very eerie!

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01931.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01932.jpg

http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p55/Gialli/DSC01933.jpg

Part 3 will focus on the three domestic flight from Pyongyang to Samjiyon, Samjiyon to Chongjin and Chongjin back to Pyongyang. All on an Air Koryo AN24! I hope you enjoyed my report!

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejetblast From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 1231 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 15326 times:

This is really something....incredible look into an airline many of us will never fly. Looking forward to Part 3.


Speedbird Concorde One
User currently offlineozzietukker From Netherlands, joined May 2007, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 15163 times:

Nice report so far.

I am fascinated for any trips taken into the unknown what is North Korea still today.

I really want to take myself such a trip, but probably get myself in a lot of trouble, but would like to experience if it is so bad as the western media are saying as I do think there are a lot of great things about the country.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2444 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 15098 times:

Gret TR, nice to read from "such exotic" trips...

Quoting gialloboy (Thread starter):
Air Koryo J class snaps, rather stylish and nice.

Indeed, the cabin looks very "western"- definitely not what you would expect on a Russian Tupolev!


User currently offlineYankeesFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 15046 times:

Interesting. A report about a country I will most likely NEVER see IRL. Can't wait for the next part.


I hope you stand by your promises Obama. I will be really mad if you don't
User currently offlinetheobcman From UK - England, joined Nov 2010, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 14808 times:

Really nice report. I think the pictures of Pyongyang are fascinating. Just a couple of things - Is milk is not available in DPRK at all ? Right ? Also when you say they took your mobile phones at the airport, then what happens ? Do they keep them until your return flight ?

Looking forward to part 3. Cheers


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 14706 times:

Hi

Great to see part 2 on.
Good report, nice you where able to catch some pics.
Air Koryo seems to be nice as well.
Good to see some FNJ pics

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineordjoe From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 718 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 14442 times:

Quoting theobcman (Reply 5):
Also when you say they took your mobile phones at the airport, then what happens ? Do they keep them until your return flight ?

You get the phone back when you are about to leave the country

Quoting theobcman (Reply 5):
Is milk is not available in DPRK at all ?

Not really, if anything else most Asians are lactose intolerant so there is not much of a demand for milk to begin with. Second dairy is very resource intensive to make, something the DPRK does not have a lot of.


User currently online817Dreamliiner From Montserrat, joined Jul 2008, 2474 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 14374 times:

Hey gialloboy

Interesting report so far, air koryo seems to have a decent J class product. Looking forward to part 3 of your report!



Reality be Rent. Synapse, break! Vanishment, This World!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 14079 times:

Interesting report. Funny seeing pictures of Pyongyang all dark, compared to Seoul so close to the south!

Quoting gialloboy (Thread starter):
Despite the flight being only 120 minutes we got a full meal, condisting of cold cuts and curry. Not bad at all! drinks were served also with a choice of water, soft drink and beer.

I like how they just pile everything on top of each other!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13328 times:

Hi Michael

Thanks for this really interesting report. For me this is the first trip report on Air Koryo Business Class. In a way it's probably good that you got the newish and modernish Tupolev from a safety perspective, although the TU-154 would have been more retro.

It's kind of strange how they just pile up the plates with grub to impress the foreigners entering the country when half the population is suffering from malnutrition.

Looking forward to your next post on the domestic flights.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineinfinit From Singapore, joined Jul 2008, 585 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 13274 times:

Wow.. what an amazing TR. Air Koryo in J is as rare as it gets.

Yes, the food looked good for a 2hour flight. Not entirely surprised but a little strange that they use CA's boarding pass.

Quoting gialloboy (Thread starter):
Funny think is that Korean Air operates checkin desks for their flight to Seoul in the very next row of desks!

That's hard to imagine. I'd have pictured an endless cat fight between the staff at both desks!


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10767 times:

Quoting infinit (Reply 11):
That's hard to imagine. I'd have pictured an endless cat fight between the staff at both desks!

Wouldnt they both be Chinese?



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinefasty From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 36 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10016 times:

WOW, thanks for having taken the "risk" to share such rare pictures with us.

Very interesting definitely. It's funny to see they have such a good J product, this is so anticommunist  

Can't wait for the 3rd part ...


User currently offlineTriStar1845 From Canada, joined Jan 2008, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 8865 times:

Great TR! thx for sharing


Love always wins
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8739 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, did enjoy.

I still find it amusing they have F on their planes, hardly in line with the policies of the country.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2185 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8672 times:

Quoting ozzietukker (Reply 2):
I really want to take myself such a trip, but probably get myself in a lot of trouble, but would like to experience if it is so bad as the western media are saying as I do think there are a lot of great things about the country.

I just got back from North Korea last week too, from an aviation tour of the country. They were extremely lenient with photographs on my trip!

Quoting theobcman (Reply 5):
Also when you say they took your mobile phones at the airport, then what happens ? Do they keep them until your return flight ?

You put them into a bag, they put them in a small room in the airport and you get them back just before your flight out the country.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 10):
n a way it's probably good that you got the newish and modernish Tupolev from a safety perspective

Air Koryo's aircraft are incredibly well maintained. They're all as good as new inside and out and the care and attention they give these aircraft in between each turnaround is admirable.

Quoting infinit (Reply 11):
That's hard to imagine. I'd have pictured an endless cat fight between the staff at both desks!

North Korea likes to act very hurt that the country is split into two, and there's propaganda everywhere promoting the "reunification" of the country. As far as I could see, it's only really the two govermnents that have issues with eachother.

Quoting Fabo (Reply 12):
Wouldnt they both be Chinese?

They were Chinese staff on my flights, yes.

By the look of it, you stayed in the Yangakdo? I had a Korean People's Army jacket tailored by a lovely lady on the third floor!

Brings back some recent memories reading this report, though the 204 was the only aircraft in the Air Koryo fleet I didn't fly on! Look forward to the domestic flights.



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
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