Aimed at “dark tourism” enthusiasts. It will soon be possible to fly over the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history, in Chernobyl, Ukraine. As CNN reports, an aerial tour will be offered on April 25, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the explosion of reactor number 4 of the nuclear power plant. For this, it will cost the sum of 2 970 hryvnias, or about 88 euros.
This price includes a treat, the visit of a Boeing 777 on the tarmac of Boryspil airport in Kiev, from where the plane will depart, as well as explanations of the causes and consequences of the nuclear accident by a guide professional, present throughout the duration of the flight. The trip will be operated by Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA). On the journey to Chernobyl and the abandoned town of Prypiat, passengers in the Embraer 195, the aircraft used for this flight, will be able to admire the panoramas of the exclusion zone around the nuclear power plant.
Possible thanks to Covid-19
During the flight, organizers say the plane will stay above the minimum permissible height of 900 meters above Chernobyl, while getting as close as possible to the nuclear power plant without compromising passenger safety. “To be honest, this was only made possible thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic”, concedes CNN Bohdan Skotnykov, project manager at UIA. “There is a plane available and our team has free time to do creative projects. ”
Barrier gestures will be observed at the airport during this flight, he reassured. It is not specified how many places are available for this somewhat special air tour. Ukrainian International Airlines has operated flights of this kind over Chernobyl in the past: tickets were snapped up quickly and the lucky few who were able to afford one were praised on this “visit”.
“Chernobyl is Ukraine’s most popular tourist destination,” said Yaroslav Yemelyanenko, director of Chernobyl Tour, a travel agency associated with the UIA event. “Before the quarantine, the number of tourists doubled every year. The pandemic however impacted the “dark tourism” around the nuclear site, which had strongly increased after the diffusion of the English miniseries Chernobyl, which returns on this catastrophe. In 2020, 32,000 people visited the exclusion zone, 72,000 fewer than in 2019.