North Korea’s Air Koryo: What Planes Does The Airline Operate?

North Korea’s state-owned national carrier Air Koryo is a subject of great curiosity among many avgeeks. From its hub at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (FNJ), the airline flies to a handful of destinations, both domestically and in neighboring China and Russia. But what aircraft does it operate these services with? Let’s take a look.

Air Koryo Antonov An-148
Air Koryo’s Antonov An-148s are by far its youngest aircraft. Photo: FN2187 via Flickr

Air Koryo’s young Antonovs

According to data from, Air Koryo has a fleet made up of 14 aircraft from Ukraine and Russia, with some even dating back to the Soviet era. The fleet as a whole is rather old, with an average age of 29.8 years! However, the airline does have a pair of noticeably younger jets that are keeping this future from topping the 30 mark.

Specifically, these aircraft belong to Antonov’s An-148 family. These 70-seat regional jets feature a two-class, 70 seat configuration. Business class consists of an exclusive, eight-seat cabin arranged in a four-abreast (2-2) layout. Meanwhile, the remaining 62 seats have a five-abreast (3-2) setup. Air Koryo received its An-148s brand new in 2012 and 2015.

Two Ilyushin designs

Moving on to the Ilyushin Design Bureau, this Moscow-based company (now part of the United Aircraft Corporation/UAC) has two designs present at Air Koryo. The oldest of these is the Il-62, which was the world’s largest jetliner at the time of its launch in 1963.
Air Koryo Ilyushin Il-62
Air Koryo is reportedly the only passenger Il-62 operator left. Photo: Mark Tang via Wikimedia Commons

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Data from ch-aviation shows that Air Koryo presently has three Il-62s in its fleet, of which two remain active. However, with a striking average age of 37.1 years old, their days may be numbered. Historically speaking, the airline has operated a further two Il-62s.

Ilyushin also has a presence when it comes to Air Koryo’s cargo division. This is made up of three examples of the company’s Il-76TD design. These have an average age of 30.6 years, and have spent their entire careers with Air Koryo since joining in 1990.

A trio of Tupolev families

The most popular aircraft manufacturer at Air Koryo in terms of the number of different families present is Tupolev. The North Korean national airline operates three designs from this company, with one even featuring two different variants from the family in question. It operates two Tupolev Tu-134B-3s 37.4 years old), and is reportedly the last carrier to do so.

Air Koryo Tupolev Tu-154
Air Koryo’s Tu-154s are more than 40 years old on average. Photo: Vera.vvo via Wikimedia Commons

While 37.4 years old is a hefty average age for Air Koryo’s Tu-134s, they are outdone by the three-engine Tu-154B. Two of these serve the North Korean carrier, with a whopping average age of 41.8 years old! They have been with the airline for their entire careers. Historically speaking, Air Koryo has also operated another two of these trijets.

Finally, at the more modern end of the spectrum, Air Koryo also has a pair of (albeit inactive) Tupolev Tu-204s. One of these is a comparatively young Tu-204-100, clocking in at a youthful 12.1 years old. Meanwhile, the other example belongs is a smaller Tu-204-300 aged 28.4 years old. This particular plane began life as a 204-100 before being converted.

Did you know about the makeup of Air Koryo’s fleet? What aircraft do you think it will operate in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.