A quick Google search shows that North Korea’s elusive, state-owned airline Air Koryo has consistently been given a 1-star Skytrax rating for several years in a row. With a fleet of Soviet planes dating back to the 1960s, the airline has a limited number of international flights (China and Vladivostok) and a handful of domestic destinations. And like everything else in North Korea, only a brave few will ever be able to experience an Air Koryo flight firsthand.

Dutch photographer and aviation enthusiast Arthur Mebius travelled thrice to North Korea to document the airline and its dedicated team of pilots and air crew. Compiled in a crowdfunded book titled Dear Sky: The Planes and People of North Korea’s Airline, Mebius shares glimpses of the aircraft’s dated interiors, its flight attendants at work, and incredible shots of the old Antonov, Ilyushins and Tupolovs that rarely fly abroad due to the international sanctions and environmental restrictions that forbid them to. Designed by Rob van Hoesel and published by The Eriskay Connection, Dear Sky is a peek into the intriguing, elusive world that only a few are allowed to penetrate.

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