Emily Tan
Aug 30, 2011

North Korea's airline gets friendly on Facebook

PYONGYANG - North Korea's national airline Air Koryo, is looking to increase tourism to the secretive state. It is operating a light-hearted Facebook page to attract fans.

North Korea's state sponsored Airline is using Facebook to promote tourism
North Korea's state sponsored Airline is using Facebook to promote tourism

The page has over 2,000 'likes', is in English, and regularly banters with its fans. The page also announces new flights, starts discussions, and posts photos of their aircraft and staff. Currently the airline operates flights to 20 cities worldwide in China, Russia, Malaysia and Kuwait with its most popular route between Pyongyang and Beijing. 

Although the airline still lacks a usable website, its Facebook page is friendly, and even downright chatty - wishing its "orthodox" fans a merry Christmas and promising meals in keeping with their religious practices. However, racist comment and political commentaries are politely discouraged, sometimes even humourously.

Korea Times spotted a response to a Facebook user posting that South Koreans might 'mistake' Air Koryo for the government in Pyongyang. Koryo Airways cheerfully replied, “Were you trying to explain to us that Air Koryo is a part of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea government? If so — bingo! You're the winner. But honestly, what's the actual point behind saying that?”.

The site note that North Korea is interestesd in attracting tourists for income and that the regime had increased tours to Pyongyang and loosened restrictions for tourists from China and the US.

Exact tourism figures are hard to come by with a Wikipedia entry estimating 1,500 Western tourists visiting annually. Koryo Airways itself isn't too good with numbers they admit. "Exact figures are beyond us, sorry," the airline says.

 

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