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KPlane04
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:13 am

Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:39 pm

Air Koryo (JS), the national airline of North Korea, has a website at http://www.airkoryo.com.kp/ where there is the option for seemingly anyone to book tickets on their flights FNJ-PEK/SHE/VVO. But since foreigners are not allowed to travel to North Korea without the cooperation of a tour agency or similar organization, who would book the tickets on behalf of the traveller, who is this website for? Has anyone actually booked a ticket through this site? Does it even work or is it just for show?

A few other things of note:

Fares are listed on the main page (in a variety of currencies, oddly) to SHA along with the other destinations, but tickets to SHA are not actually offered through this website.

Their website lists a number of addresses for global offices which they supposedly have, but some of these are not actually specific enough to be addresses or it is doubtful that they even exist. They do not provide an exact address for their head office in Pyongyang (just the district), and provide non-specific addresses for their Beijing/Shenyang/Vladivostok/Berlin offices which are seemingly nonexistent on Google Maps (Google street view blurs out what is supposed to be their Berlin office, strangely). It is also doubtful that their Kuwait office still exists since they were forced to stop flying there years ago due to sanctions, so this page has likely not been updated in a while; but still, this page is clearly not intended with people actually visiting or contacting these offices in mind, so it is odd that they would list them at all.

Why would they have an office in Berlin when JS's operations are mostly limited to China and Russia?

Why are PEK/SHE/VVO the only bookable routes through the website? Why not SHA or the new route to Macao?

Do the "EMERGENCY CALL" phone numbers actually work? Is it possible to ask about these other routes?
 
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PatrickZ80
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:31 pm

It's mainly for show.

The foreign addresses do actually exist, but they're not limited to Air Koryo only. Usually they're North Korean embassies or something similar.
 
KPlane04
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:13 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:37 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
It's mainly for show.

The foreign addresses do actually exist, but they're not limited to Air Koryo only. Usually they're North Korean embassies or something similar.


I thought so, from what I can recall when I was looking into this the other day the address in Moscow is just the North Korean embassy. Still though, the question remains of what would happen if someone tried to book a ticket through the website. I do remember a few years ago someone trying to get to Pyeongchang in South Korea accidentally ended up booked for Pyongyang by their travel agent (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News ... 429882181/); that was on Air China, but the article states that they were detained for entering the country without a visa then sent away. It's possible that something similar might happen if you attempted to book a flight to FNJ via this website and then took it, although I do have doubts that the website is even functional.
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10709
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:45 pm

Could be that official / embassy staff can book their tickets through this site.

I'm not sure though - paging senior Cedarjet?
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
TUGMASTER
Posts: 1185
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Fri Apr 17, 2020 8:23 pm

Senior Cedarjet..... wow... you’re putting some years on him there.....
 
PlymSpotter
Posts: 10709
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:32 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:04 am

Master Cedarjet just didn't sound quite right...

First Air Lord and Comrade of the Juche Dream perhaps
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
TUGMASTER
Posts: 1185
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:56 pm

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:47 pm

Yep... he’ll love the First Air Lord Malarkey ..
Believe he also answers to Mr Jet....
 
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Vasu
Posts: 3154
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:34 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:39 am

Attempting to do a dummy booking from the site just gives “no seats” for every route on different dates. Either demand for flights to/from Pyongyang has skyrocketed to the point of overwhelming the national carrier or the website just doesn’t work :)
 
KPlane04
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 10:13 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:35 am

Vasu wrote:
Attempting to do a dummy booking from the site just gives “no seats” for every route on different dates. Either demand for flights to/from Pyongyang has skyrocketed to the point of overwhelming the national carrier or the website just doesn’t work :)


I think this is because JS has suspended all operations due to COVID-19, they have a "Today's Flight" tool where you can view the public schedule for various days and in recent days it shows nothing but if you go back a few months you can see flights (http://www.airkoryo.com.kp/flight/status).
 
dredgy
Posts: 488
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:13 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:29 pm

You can book flights to Pyongyang commerically on Air China (I haven't used Air Koryo's website, and judging from their ancient systems at the airport I wouldn't trust it).
You tour agent does not have to be the one to book the flight, but you must be travelling with one. If you're doing business there you are also allowed a fairly high degree of freedom (a few Syrian businessmen were there last time I was and don't think they had any escort)
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8788
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:32 am

First Air Lord here! I think the site exists in part to nudge JS out of Skytrax’s one star category, as a criteria where it struggled was online booking facility. The new terminal at FNJ has a transit channel so who knows what the future holds.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Insertnamehere
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:44 am

Re: Who is Air Koryo's website for?

Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:59 am

cedarjet wrote:
First Air Lord here! I think the site exists in part to nudge JS out of Skytrax’s one star category, as a criteria where it struggled was online booking facility. The new terminal at FNJ has a transit channel so who knows what the future holds.


Obviously they are going to buy all the retired A380s and become the Emirates of Asia connecting asia through their super hub at FNJ.

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