Dear Sky: Arthur Mebius's photographs of the planes and people of North Korea's airline

Off-duty crew members take in the view outside

Air Koryo is the state-owned national airline of North Korea. But 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. 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.

In his series Dear Sky, Dutch photographer Arthur Mebius captures the routine operations by Air Koryo crew which appears as a rehearsed play of maintenance, controls and procedures. It's a beautiful ground control dance where an image of dedication and pride arises.

You can now enjoy the series in a new book, Dear Sky, The Planes & People of North Korea's Airline. Available to buy via dearskybook.com.

Arthur Mebius 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 with ­aviation. Among the jury’s that awarded his work are AOP, ADCN, ADCE, Cannes, Epica, New York Photo Awards. Arthur Mebius lives near ­Amsterdam with his wife and two daughters.

Pilots secure cover to the engines of a Tupolev-154 after a flight from Sunan to Kalma

Pilots secure cover to the engines of a Tupolev-154 after a flight from Sunan to Kalma

Pilot taking a picture of the photographer

Pilot taking a picture of the photographer

A Stewardess at work in the unique interior of the Tupolev-154

A Stewardess at work in the unique interior of the Tupolev-154

Passenger on the Tupolev-134

Passenger on the Tupolev-134

A stewardess of the Ilyushin-62 checking on ground personal just after landing

A stewardess of the Ilyushin-62 checking on ground personal just after landing

View over the tarmac of Kalma airport Wonsan

View over the tarmac of Kalma airport Wonsan

Pilots work meeting on the cargoload of the Tupolev-154

Pilots work meeting on the cargoload of the Tupolev-154

Pilots board an Ilyushin-76 transport plane

Pilots board an Ilyushin-76 transport plane

A Tarmac overview with Toplev-154, Tupolev-134 and a Ilyushin 76 transport plane at Sunan International Airport Pyongyang

A Tarmac overview with Toplev-154, Tupolev-134 and a Ilyushin 76 transport plane at Sunan International Airport Pyongyang

A senior stewardess explaining the door-handling

A senior stewardess explaining the door-handling

A Pilot inside the cockpit of a Tupolev-134

A Pilot inside the cockpit of a Tupolev-134

Crew disembarking after a Tupolev-134 flight

Crew disembarking after a Tupolev-134 flight

A Mosaic monument near Sunan airport featuring the former leaders of North Korea standing before an Ilyushin-62 and a Tupolev-154

A Mosaic monument near Sunan airport featuring the former leaders of North Korea standing before an Ilyushin-62 and a Tupolev-154

A Pilot removes the engine covers of a Tupolev-154 before flight

A Pilot removes the engine covers of a Tupolev-154 before flight