Sightseers will fly over Chernobyl to mark the disaster’s 35th anniversaryAndrea Smith

To mark the 35th anniversary of the disaster at Chernobyl (Chornobyl), an aerial flight will give passengers the opportunity to look down on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine and the abandoned city of Pripyat, which was once home to 50,000 residents.

Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) is organising the event, which it has called “Flight over Kyiv and Chernobyl.” It will take place on 25 April, the eve of the anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear accident. Passengers will be able to see Kyiv and Chernobyl from unusual angles because the Embraer 195 will fly at the minimum allowable height of 900 meters. It will also fly above the Dnipro river.

Passengers will get an aerial view of Pripyat © by Edward Neyburg/Getty Images

While on board, the Chernobyl Tour Company, which specializes in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone tourism, will assist passengers in deepening their knowledge of the causes and consequences of the accident. The disaster occurred when Chernobyl’s Reactor No, 4 exploded in 1986, killing at least 31 people in the immediate aftermath. It sent a plume of deadly radioactive dust into the atmosphere, threatening the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people. Pripyat is part of the Exclusion Zone, which has seen an influx of visitors since the release of the hit TV series, Chernobyl, in 2019.

Read more: How to visit dark tourism destinations in an ethical way

Radiation levels are still higher than normal in the area and authorities say that it could take as long as 24,000 years for people to be able to live in the region safely. Tour operators say it’s safe for short-term visits, and of course, flying over it is safe too. Passengers on the anniversary flight will get to take a photo in the cockpit with the pilot, and will be permitted to ask questions and learn interesting facts. Back on dry land, they will also have the oppportunity to visit a Boeing 777 on the apron of Boryspil Airport.

The cost of the “Flight over Kyiv and Chernobyl” experience is 2970 Ukrainian hryvni ($106), and further information can be found on UIA’s website here.

Discover the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

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