Uzbekistan Airways resumes flights to Tajikistan

Uzbekistan Airways and Somon Air will be initially flying between the two countries' capital cities The first direct flight in 25 years carried 29 passengers to Dushanbe (Tajik Transport Ministry)

Following a 25-year-long interruption in direct air services between the two Central Asian countries, an Airbus A320 operated by Uzbekistan Airways landed at the airport serving Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, on April 11, the Uzbek Transport Ministry reports.

Flight NY-717 carried 29 passengers. The return flight, NY-718, was performed on the same day and carried 12 passengers, Interfax Azerbaijan newswire has reported.

The carrier plans to operate twice-weekly flights between Uzbekistan’s capital city Tashkent and Dushanbe. The route had been originally scheduled to open on April 4, but too few tickets had been sold for the date so the flight was canceled. The same route is expected to be operated by Tajikistan’s Somon Air, which was supposed to begin operations between Dushanbe and Tashkent on February 20 but had to postpone due to legal holdups, Azattyk radio reports.

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan agreed on restoring direct air services in November 2016. At the end of last week, both countries’ representatives signed an intergovernmental agreement to the effect, which has yet to be approved by the governments of the two states.

The agreement reads that flights will be initially carried out only between the two capital cities, possibly spreading to other destinations in the two countries eventually. Air services between the two states were suspended in 1992 as a result of civil war in Tajikistan.

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