A new airline is to launch direct services from Uzbekistan’s second-largest city of Samarkand, as part of a major tourism and commercial drive for the historic region.
Air Samarkand will operate scheduled and charter flights from Samarkand to a growing number of destinations before the end of 2023 – beginning with services to cities in Turkey, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and China.
The airline plans further expansion into Europe over the next 12 months as it grows its fleet of Airbus A330 and A320 aircraft. The full-service carrier expects to have five aircraft in operation before the end of 2023.
Bakhtiyor Fazylov, a Uzbek business leader and founder of Air Samarkand, says: “The launch of this new airline is a significant event for the future development of Uzbekistan as a tourism, cultural and business centre. We are delighted to welcome Air Samarkand’s first aircraft, which will soon operate competitive direct flights with a safe and quality service to the most popular international destinations.”
Located in eastern Uzbekistan, Samarkand is one of the oldest cities in Asia, with its origins said to date back to the seventh or eighth millennium BC. A prosperous centre of the silk trade and situated on the famed Silk Road, it is in the heart of the country’s ancient and medieval tourist attractions that exist in Samarkand and the surrounding Bukhara, Khiva, Shakhrisabz, and Zaamin National Park regions.
The launch of Air Samarkand coincides with the arrival of its first Airbus A330-300, which landed on November 2nd at the newly redeveloped Samarkand International Airport.
The aircraft will offer a two-cabin configuration of 277 economy and 36 business class seats on non-stop flights with a range of up to 11,500 km. It will provide a spacious twin aisle cabin with large overhead storage for hand luggage, high standards of passenger seat comfort and an inflight entertainment system delivered to passengers via screens built-in into every seat.
Air Samarkand expects to welcome the arrival of a second, Airbus A231 aircraft in the coming days. It is designed for medium-haul routes and will mark a rapid development of the Air Samarkand fleet, with the airline hoping to have five aircraft in operation by the end of 2023.
The first route developments will be announced in the coming weeks, as Air Samarkand gears up to the launch of its initial services.