Silk Avia, Uzbekistan’s new regional airline, is acquiring five new ATR 72-600, three directly from the European manufacturer and two from a lessor.
In addition to this agreement, the airline will soon start its operations with three used ATR 72-600.
Silk Avia’s owner, Uzbekistan Airports, has invested heavily in establishing a wide network of upgraded and new airports to better serve the domestic and regional market. The primary purpose of Silk Avia is to stimulate domestic tourism and business development.
The airline will also increase regional connectivity to the capital of Tashkent and provide direct access between the Uzbek cities. These aircraft will open up new point to point opportunities, serving around 40 routes in the country. They will connect 11 domestic airports, and seven additional airports in the future, supporting the growth of the country and its thriving tourism industry.
Silk Avia and ATR have also announced the signature of a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA). Through this five-year pay-by-the-hour contract, Silk Avia will take full advantage of manufacturer expertise to support its ATR aircraft, thereby reducing maintenance costs while boosting operations. The contract includes the repair, overhaul and Line Replaceable Unit Pool Exchange Service, an on-site stock of spare parts, a spare part agreement, along with propeller availability and maintenance services.
Rano Dzhuraeva, chair of Uzbekistan Airports, said: “As a new low-cost airline, we undertook an extensive review of which aircraft would provide the best solution. Our selection of the ATR 72-600 is the perfect choice for us as they will ensure we can offer our passengers the most modern, comfortable and reliable experience in the most affordable and sustainable way.”
ATR chief executive Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, added: “There is no better solution to provide essential links than an ATR 72-600, the sustainable benchmark in regional aviation today. In a fast-growing country such as Uzbekistan, Silk Avia will play a key role by offering vital links for local communities and boosting the economy. Studies have shown that an increase of 10% in regional flights can lead to a 5% increase in local GDP and ATR contributes by providing the most responsible and affordable regional aircraft. We warmly welcome Silk Avia as one of our newest customers, opening a new market for ATR in Central Asia.”
The operational versatility and affordability of the ATR 72-600 are proven worldwide, burning 45% less fuel and emitting 45% less CO2 than a similar-sized regional jet, positioning ATR as the perfect fit for economical and sustainable expansion. The aircraft will be equipped with the new PW127XT engines, offering a 20% reduction in maintenance costs and a 3% reduction in fuel consumption compared to existing engine. Silk Avia’s aircraft will be the first new ATRs to operate in the whole Central Asia.