Tajikistan’s flag carrier to lease two Boeing 737-800s
Somon Air prepares for network expansion beyond Russia
Tajikistan’s national carrier Somon Air is adding two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to its fleet, local media report citing the airline’s deputy general director Abdulkosim Valiyev. According to Valiyev, the leasing contract is in place for the used narrowbodies, which are expected to arrive in Tajikistan in August. Besides, the privately owned carrier is in negotiations to add two ATR 42 turboprops.
Adding two medium-range Boeing 737-800s will enable Somon Air to launch three new routes from Dushanbe — to Beijing, Seoul and London. In June the airline launched flights from Tajikistan’s capital to Munich.
Somon currently operates two Boeing 737-800s and two B-737-900ER, as well as two helicopters (Airbus H125 and Mil Mi-8AMT). To further expand its network the airline plans to bring its airliner fleet to 10 within the next five years. In particular, Valiyev said, Somon Air is in talks with ATR regarding “purchase of two 57-seat aircraft for domestic flights”. The airline is also looking at Airbus and Embraer aircraft, Valiyev said.
In late 2019 Somon Air signed a memorandum of cooperation with Russia’s VTB Leasing covering Embraer E190-E2. The leasing contract for two Brazil-made jets was to be signed in early 2020.
The airline is increasing flights to its key Russian market. Starting August 1 Somon Air launched twice-weekly flights from Khujand to Moscow’s Vnukovo (VKO) airport, supplementing its Russian capital service to Zhukovsky (ZIA). It is also increasing frequencies to twice a week on routes from Khujand to Surgut, and from Dushanbe to Samara, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. The airline has also recently resumed service to Kazan.
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