North Korean airline Air Koryo has been named the world’s worst for the fourth consecutive year in a row.
In a list compiled by UK-based aviation consultancy Skytrax, 600 carriers were rated on a number of factors, including aircraft efficiency, customer service and the quality of their in-flight meals.
Air Koryo not only came bottom of the overall rankings, but also suffered the ignominy of being the only airline to be awarded one star out of a possible five.
The carrier, which flies to 14 airports in six countries, was particularly penalised for the age of its planes, many of which date back to the 1960s.
The airline has not purchased new aircraft for over 20 years, despite attempts by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to reinvigorate its image. Given the age of the planes, many pilots are forced to fly without digital assistance.
For passengers, the Air Koryo experience is equally outdated. Luggage is still weighed by hand and the in-flight entertainment stretches as far as propaganda films detailing the lives and achievements of North Korea’s leaders.
In 2006, the decrepitude of Air Koryo’s fleet led to a ban from entering EU airspace. This was lifted four years later, but the carrier can still only operate in Europe with their relatively modern TU-204 planes.
The airline’s poor performance stands in stark contrast to those of neighbouring carriers in the Far East.
Japan's ANA All Nippon Airways, South Korea's Asiana Airlines, Indonesia's Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines all feature high up in Skytrax’s rankings.
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