Uzbekistan Airways retires all its Soviet-made aircraft
Uzbekistan Airways officially phased out the last of its Ilyushin IL-114-100 regional turboprops on May 1, thus bringing to an end the era of Soviet-built passenger aircraft in its fleet.
The switch makes the airline an all-jet operator, in a move which is expected to “increase the efficiency and the commercial yield” of its operations, the airline explains.
Uzbekistan’s national carrier is believed to be the last major airline in the territory of the former Soviet Union to say goodbye to its Russian/Soviet-made passenger aircraft. Most recently – at the end of 2016 – Russia’s closest ally, Belarus’ flag carrier Belavia, has replaced its last Tupolev Tu-154s with Boeing 737-800s.
Uzbekistan Airways was the world’s only commercial operator of the Ilyushin IL-114-100, which it used on domestic flights. The aircraft fleet (with registration numbers UK-91104, UK-91105, UK-91106, UK-91107, UK-91108 and UK-91109) were built between 2006 and 2012 and were delivered to the airline between 2008 and 2013 under a series of contracts with local Tashkent Chkalov Aviation Production Company (now known as Tashkent Mechanical Plant).
Now all six of the 52-seat aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW-127Н engines, are being offered for sale or lease, with one potential customer believed to be Kyrgyzstan’s Air KG.
Uzbekistan Airways says its IL-114 flight crews are currently being re-trained and type rated for Boeing and Airbus aircraft types. The carrier currently operates 21 passenger aircraft, including two Boeing 787-8s, six Boeing 767-300ERs, four Boeing 757-200s and nine Airbus A320s. Four more aircraft – one B757 and three Avro RJ85 regional jets – are believed to be in storage. The airline also operates two Boeing 767-300F freighters and two government VIP aircraft – a B767-300ER and an A320.
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