WHO bans staff from using N.K. airline

By Shin Hae-in
  • Published : Oct 25, 2011 - 15:51
  • Updated : Oct 25, 2011 - 15:51
The World Health Organization has asked its officials not to use North Korean airliners in the latest such move by an international organization prompted by safety concerns, a U.S.-funded radio station reported Tuesday.

The WHO Southeast Asia office recently gave Pyongyang’s Air Koryo a “C” rating for safety in May, which means officials are banned from using the airliners unless special approval is given by the body’s travel officer, according to Voice of America.

Air Koryo was rated the lowest in the WHO’s safety evaluation, it said.

The measure comes about six months after the European Union banned the operation of Koryo airliners for six years in 21 states, with only two newly-bought planes able to operate in the EU.

The North Korean airline operates about 20 planes that were produced by the now-defunct Soviet Union in the 1960s.

Air Koryo has also been criticized for poor service by flight attendants and facilities.

A British evaluation group gave Air Koryo its lowest rating this month, while U.S. financial website Business Insider recently dubbed it “the worst airline in the world.” 

By Shin Hae-in