North Korea’s airline is ‘world’s worst’

If an Air Koryo passenger ignores its no-photography rule, a flight attendant might take the camera and delete the pictures herself.

Crumpling up a newspaper bearing the image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can earn travellers a stern lecture, or worse.

Those are among many quirks that may help explain why North Korea’s airline has earned a singular distinction: It’s been ranked the world’s worst airline for four straight years.

Air Koryo is the only carrier to have been awarded just one star in rankings released recently by the UK-based SkyTrax consultancy agency.

More than 180 airlines are included in the five-star ranking system, which is widely considered the global benchmark of airline standards.

Some experts and frequent Air Koryo passengers don’t agree with the “world’s worst” title.

The airline is a definitely a unique ride, but fairly reliable, they say.

The SkyTrax ratings are focused on service and not safety.

In-flight entertainment is usually limited to the popular Moranbong Band girl group singing patriotic odes to the leader, or North Korean cartoons.

On the less than two-hour hop from Beijing, there is a meal of sorts. It resembles a hamburger.


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