26 January 2013

BANNED in CHINA: North Korea's Scary Soviet-Era Fleet has Nowhere to Go

By enacting a safety ban -as the EU has- on Air Koryo's 
USSR jalopies, China has effectively left the Norks 
with only two planes capable of international routes...

Air Koryo Tu-154

Save for a couple newer Russian Tu-204 aircraft, the DPRK's Air Koryo -infamous for the world's worst booking site and the only one-star airline in existence- 'boasts' a fleet comprised of creaking Soviet-era aircraft (Il-62, Tu-134, Tu-154), planes that have all been banned in the European Union due to failed ground inspections of Air Koryo units in Germany and France, ancient design, noise- and the North Koreans' contempt for international safety standards in general.

Until now, the workhorse Tu-154 -which even Aeroflot retired in 2009- has been primarily operating for the Norks' flag carrier between China and Pyongyang, with additional seasonal flights to Malaysia, Russia, and a couple other destinations.

So this new Chinese government ban marks the end of an era: service to Beijing will continue on the newer Russian Tu-204s, but the Tupolevs will likely continue to operate within the DPRK, and a few foreign routes. Looks like the belligerent Boy Wonder might have to scrape up the dosh for some planes... not that new Boeings would do them any better, mind you.

They play marching music upon takeoff and landing too... seriously

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