PHOTOS: Experience North Korea’s Airline Rated the Very ‘Worst Airline’ in the World

North Korea easily owns one of the least positive reputations for countries across the globe. The same is true of its one and only airline Air Koryo.

The above photos have been gathered from a handful of sources and feature everything from the pilot controls, to the flight attendants, to the food. The most recent photos of Air Koryo were taken by Aram Pan in the past year and Mark Fahey in 2011. It appears that Aram’s experience was far better than Fahey’s.

The following are some of the reasons the airline has been given the worst rating in the industry:

1. Air Koryo’s plane fleet is comprised of very old Russian-made planes.

2. The food has been considered horrific for years (however, Pan says he was surprised that the food was halfway decent when he flew).

3. The airline’s booking Website rarely works and is difficult to navigate.

4. Cabin safety features are lacking.

5. Cockpit communications were only given one star.

Need some official proof? Here is SKYTRAX’s assessment of the airline:


While the most recent customer reviews are semi-positive, the following seems to tell a story that matches the above rating:

“I’ve flown Air Koryo last year in April 2012.. It was basically an old bus with wings. It had very old school wooden panels, including wooden bathrooms. Worst of all, on the way back from Pyongyang to Beijing, I was suffering from food poisoning.. How about that for a worlds worst?! (worlds worst time to need a bathroom..) The seats were creaky and very dated. I do have to mention that N. Korea apparently chooses the most attractive women to be flight attendants as they want the foreigners first impression of the country to be that of beauty and elegance. However, the flight attendants’ attractiveness did not match the planes. The food was also a mystery meat of some sort served in a gelatinous tomato sauce.. my friend sitting next to me had the same dish but completely different shade of orangy-red. It was a once in a life time experience.. One that I wouldn’t try again.”