North Korea is a repugnant state, which if the world were at all run by decent minded people wouldn't exist. However even though they are happy to destroy their own citizens and threaten war constantly one group they seem to love (rather ironically considering how most of the rest of the world hates them) is planespotters!
Seems like you can get a great spotting trip to North Korea and fly in and photograph classic Russian birds as much as you like. Check out the tours for 2015 here. Tempting but difficult to marry up with my scruples! Anyway Air Koryo is an interesting airline.
Air Koryo has operated under various names since 1953, initially as UKAMPS, becoming the Civil Aviation Administration of Korea in the 1970s and Air Koryo in 1992. Jet operations began with TU-154s in 1975 with services historically directed at states within the Soviet sphere of influence. Russia and China remain the primary recipients of services, though obviously the component of North Korean society that gets to fly is miniscule. The under-utilised fleet is kept in good condition with a range of older Ilyushins and Tupolevs in service despite a pair of more modern Tupolev TU-204s being delivered from 2008. This aircraft, P-561, delivered in 1982 was the last of four TU-154s to arrive. Built as CCCP-85573 she is still in service despite a landing accident at Pyongyang in August 2006. Air Koryo never did receive any of the more modern TU-154Ms.
Air Koryo is surprisingly well represented in 1:400 scale models with there now being 10 releases including 5 IL-76s, 2 IL-18s, 2 TU-154s and an IL-62.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: