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Dear Sky: Air Koryo

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dear Sky: Air Koryo

Air Koryo is the state-owned national airline of North Korea. International sanctions and environmental restrictions have reduced the airline’s international destinations with only China and Vladivostok remaining.

The old Antonovs, Ilyushins and Tupolevs rarely fly abroad and therefore seem superfluous.

AirKoryo_2.jpg (2.77 MB)

Nevertheless, these aircraft and their crews are kept ready for operation. Occasional domestic flights are all the more important for the flight attendants and pilots to practice and to keep up their knowledge and skills.

Arthur Mebius monitors the routine operations by the crew which appears as a rehearsed play of maintenance, controls and procedures. A beautiful ground control dance of which an image of dedication and pride arises.

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The book is complemented with fictive anecdotes based on true historical events.

Flight to Moscow onboard Tu-154

August 17, 1975

On the far side of the Yalu River into China, Shenyang is very much a Korean city, but beyond is the rest of China, a place of extremes expressed as political calamity; and on the long trek to Moscow are Irkursk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk – frozen solid in winter, wild and untamed in summer. How happy are the interepid and brave crew of Choson Minhang to return to the predictable and orderly world of their beloved leader.

AirKoryo_4.jpg (656 KB)

Il-62 Schonefeld turnaround

February 12, 1980

Pools of yellow light illuminate the freezing fog. A cross-section of the Interflug fleet are scattered around the airfield.
The visitors’ terrace on the roof of the passenger terminal, busy in summer with kids and their parents watching the comings and goings of Aeroflot, JAT, LOT, Tarom, Malev and the rest, is empty.

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After a long and tiring journey from Pyongyang via Moscow and Sofia, the Il-62 jetliner can rest while the handful of passengers wearily clamber down the steps to the damp German tarmac and disappear into the gloomy city, swallowed up by the small line of Trabant taxis waiting outside arrivals to take them to the Berlin Stadt Interhotel, to a military base, to apartments in marching tower blocks not dissimilar to the neighbourhoods of cities back home.

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The flight, traversing entire Eurasia, operates every week as regular as a Hamhung city tram.

Photographer Arthur Mebius (Hilversum, The Netherlands, 1971) studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Besides his work for commercial advertising, he is constantly working on personal projects with a strong interest on aviation.

For more information, and to buy the book, visit:

BLOC Hotels London Gatwick

They say it's better to travel than to arrive. We think both are important. With BLOC you won't have far to travel at all. We're waiting to welcome you just steps from Gatwick South Terminal Departures. Any closer and we'd be on the runway!

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BLOC Magazine

BLOC-Magazine-Summer-18.jpg (466 KB)As the demolition phase of our BLOC Grand Central project nears completion, we are focusing on a number of other sites in the UK and Europe. We are working hard to expand the BLOC presence in major city centres and transport hubs.

We are keen for more discerning travellers to experience BLOC's affordable luxury and learn how we are changing the way people use hotels.

The 18th issue of BLOC magazine explores Lisbon, recent winner of 'The World's Leading City Destination'. The Portuguese capital is a city where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation.

We also profile BLOC-sponsored, Jamie Chadwick, who has signed for the Williams F1 team as a development driver.

Staying with the motoring theme, we showcase the stunning new Aston Martin Valkyrie and Porsche's new electric offering.

Once again we hope that this magazine provides you with some insight and entertainment on your journey.

You can view all of the articles on this site or view an online FREE version of the magazine, here.

We’ll also be adding to and updating this site with more cool stuff that we find on our travels. Jump on board!

Your journey begins here.