Ukrainian airline offering aerial tours of Chernobyl

For $106, you can climb aboard a Ukrainian International Airlines plane this Sunday for an aerial tour of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the radioactive ghost town of Pripyat. It's a one-day opportunity commemorating the 35th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster ever. From CNN:

During the flight, organizers say the aircraft will stay above the minimum permitted height of 900 meters over Chernobyl, getting as close as possible to the nuclear power station without compromising safety.Inflight information will be provided by guides from Chernobyl Tour, a well-known Ukrainian company that specializes in Exclusion Zone tourism[…]

"To be honest, this tour was made possible only due to the pandemic," says Bohdan Skotnykov, UIA's head of project for the flight. "There is an available aircraft and our team has some free time to do creative projects.] […]

Although more focused on the aviation side, UIA's excursion continues a popular dark tourism tradition that, prior to Covid restrictions, saw tens of thousands of visitors explore the grim disaster site around Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Pripyat.

"Chernobyl is the most successful tourist destination in Ukraine," says Yaroslav Yemelyanenko, director of Chernobyl Tour. "Before the quarantine, the number of tourists has doubled every year."

image (cropped): Carl Montgomery – Flickr (CC BY 2.0)