North Korea’s airline, Air Koryo was once named the world’s worst airline. In fact, to this day it is the only airline to earn a one-star rating by SkyTrax. The planes were old and featured leaky cooling systems (resulting in damp seats and drippage). The in-flight entertainment consisted mainly of North Korean cartoons and videos of the country’s famous Moranbong Band serenading Kim Jong Un with patriotic songs. The food was unappetizing, the flight attendants weren’t very friendly, the airport terminal resembled a warehouse — the list goes on.
Despite its uber-low rating, Kim Jong Un has since tried to turn the airline’s reputation around — all in the name of boosting tourism. According to Bloomberg, the North Korean leader is on a four-year plan to bump the country’s tourism up 20-fold to a whopping 2 million by 2020. His game plan consists of a new airport terminal with a business-class lounge, new planes (hopefully with better cooling systems), more in-flight entertainment options, smart flight attendant uniforms, and more.
In addition to these changes, Air Koryo has also added a new destination to its scanty departures roster. Beginning as early as July, the North Korean airline will offer round-trip flights to Xian, China. Famous for its ancient Terracotta Warriors, the central Chinese city is now one of six cities Air Koryo flies to. “The opening of this route will make it more convenient and efficient to travel from Xian to Pyongyang and furthermore satisfy the enthusiasm of Xian citizens traveling to Pyongyang,” reports the Xian Evening News Daily.
Curious about other Air Koryo destinations? Keep reading.
Air Koryo destinations
Right now, Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, make up most of the Air Koryo destinations list. Located on the central coast, Shanghai is best known for its futuristic skyline, Bund waterfront promenade, Yu Garden, and more.
Air Koryo also offers flights to the country’s capital. Best known for its Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and National Museum of China, Beijing offers a unique glimpse into both modern and ancient Chinese culture.
Located in China’s northeast Liaoning Province, Shenyang is best known for its Shenyang Imperial Palace, Zhaoling Tomb, and Manchu capital Mukden. In addition, its Beiling Park offers stunning views of pine forests and lakes, as well as various mausoleums of Qing dynasty emperors.
Best known as the capital of China’s Sichuan province, Chengdu is famous for its Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. In addition, it once served at the Shu Kingdom capital and has a history that dates back to 14th century B.C.
In addition to China, Air Koryo offers flights to Vladivostok, Russia. Located near the borders of North Korea and China, the Pacific port city is best known for its views of Golden Horn Bay, Vladivostok is the final destination on the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connects the port city to Russia’s capital, Moscow.
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