Report: North Korea’s Air Koryo suspended operations again

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (UPI) — The smoke has dispersed but North Korea‘s national airline may not be cruising according to schedule.

North Korea’s Air Koryo, the only carrier providing commercial service between North Korea and the outside world, momentarily suspended operations again, a month after one flight in China had to make an emergency landing because of smoke in the cabin, Voice of America reported.

Real-time information on the location of Air Koryo aircraft on Flight Radar 24 indicated the signal for one P-64 aircraft came into view at China’s northeastern Shenyang International Airport on Monday, but only after it had disappeared for 11 days, beginning Aug. 11.

On Monday the aircraft, Air Koryo flight JS 155, stayed at the Shenyang location for three hours then changed its flight number to JS 156 on its return flight to Pyongyang.

That aircraft is identical to the plane that had to make an emergency landing at the Shenyang airport on July 22. The day after the reported fire, the plane returned to Pyongyang but was not dispatched again until July 29, when it flew to Beijing.

In total, Air Koryo was unable to regularly dispatch planes on international routes for 18 days, according to VOA.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration had ordered the North Korean airline to take measures to improve its emergency procedures, communication with the control tower, and maintenance.

Air Koryo may have suspended operations on several days in order to be in compliance with Chinese aviation standards, according to the report.

The North Korean airline has been ranked the world’s worst airline for five years and passengers have said routine safety procedures do not take place inside the cabin.

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