North Korea's Air Koryo plane. (Wikipedia)

< Go to Homepage

Check Out the Inside of North Korea’s Retro Soviet Planes

This nation is frozen in the golden age of Soviet aviation.

North Korea, one of the most isolated countries in the world, has a lack of demand for air travel, and heavy global sanctions. This combination means that the country is frozen in the golden age of Soviet aviation. Photographer Arthur Mebius took 24 flights with Air Koryo over the course of three separate trips, writes National Geographic. His photo book, Dear Sky, the Planes and People of North Korea’s Airline, is a tribute dedicated to airline crews, and also shows his own love of aviation. He said that North Korea is “an unusual country that is fascinating to many people, and I think people are curious to see what an airline might look like in such a strange context.” The airline now known as Air Koryo was originally established as SOKAO (Soviet–North Korean Airline) in 1945. It was a way to connect Pyongyang and Moscow. It was rebranded in 1993. Its classic 1960s fleet is still active and is made up of Ilyushins, Tupolevs, and Antonovs. Air Koryo now has two stops: Vladivostok, Russia, and China, and it lacks any sort of standard amenities, like a frequent-flier program and official website.

Read the full story at National Geographic