Fire on board North Korean plane forces emergency landing in China

State-controlled Air Koryo is the world's only one-star airline

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 22 July 2016 09:04
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The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Shenyang, China after catching fire
The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Shenyang, China after catching fire

A North Korean plane was forced to make an emergency landing in northeastern China after a fire broke out on board.

A passenger on board told China's Xinhua news agency the Air Koryo flight was en route from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to Beijing on Friday when it had to make a detour to Shenyang.

There were no reports of any injuries as a result of the fire.

Air Koryo is the world's only one-star rated airline, according to the internationally recognised rating system, SKYTRAX. It operates mainly Russian TU-204 and AN-148 planes.

The international destinations to which the state-owned airline flies regularly include Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang and the Russian port of Vladivostok.

Calls to the airline's office rang unanswered while the relevant department at the airport could not immediately be reached.

Air Koryo was banned from flying in the European Union in 2006 over concerns about security and maintenance concerns. It was allowed to resume flying in 2010 but only with its TU-204 planes.

A Singaporean photographer invited on board a flight in 2014 took pictures of the Soviet-era plane with old-fashioned controls, hand-weighed luggage and 50s-style air hostess uniforms, Mail Online reports.

The airline was originally set up as a joint project with the Soviet Union in 1950 and appears to have continued operating in the same way ever since.

Additional reporting by AP

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