Uzbekistan Express yet another LCC brand in the CIS

Uzbekistan’s national airline launches low fare travel on all-economy Airbus A320s

Uzbekistan Express launch (Uzbekistan Airways)

Yet another low-cost brand has sprung on the vast territories of the former Soviet Union. Uzbekistan Express is the LCC division of Uzbekistan’s national carrier Uzbekistan Airways, which launched operations in late August.

Uzbekistan Airways has thus embarked on a practical realization of its plan, which it call ‘transition to hybrid model’. The plan is to add low fare offering to its regular full-service product. At present, Uzbekistan Express disposes of two Airbus A320ceos, which have been reconfigured to single economy-class cabins for 174 passengers and sourced from its parent company. In Uzbekistan Airways’ standard configurations these aircraft are equipped with 12 business class and 138 economy seats. Two more aircraft will have their cabins reconfigured in the coming months, the airline said.

Uzbekistan Express will operate on domestic routes, but the LCC offering will also be available on a number of routes to Russia (Moscow, Novosibirsk, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Sochi, Mineralnye Vody, Yekaterinburg) and Kazakhstan (Aktau and Aktobe). All flights are part of Uzbekistan Airways’ existing route network, but will be offered at 20 per cent discount compared to the parent airline’s standard rates. The reduction is possible “due to increased aircraft capacity”, the airline said.

Uzbekistan Express will face competition not only from foreign LCCs, but also from the recently launched private Uzbek carrier Qanot Sharq, which also operates two А320ceos.

Similarly to FlyArystan, the LCC division of Kazakhstan’s national airline Air Astana, Uzbekistan Express doesn’t have its own Air Operator Certificate. It is also selling tickets through its parent airline’s web-site. But eventually low fare offering may grow into a separate airline. A 51 per cent share in the LCC division may be offered to an outside investor, according to Uzbekistan Airways’ presentation to the country’s president Shavkat Mirziyoyev in April 2021.

Russian Aviation Insider
Powered by Air Transport Observer, Russia & CIS’ premier information provider on commercial aviation with a 20-year legacy, Russian Aviation Insider provides you with timely and reliable business news, insights and analysis on commercial aviation all around CIS.
Sign up for our free Newsletter and never miss:
  • Airline Business news and analysis
  • Aerospace Industry updates
  • Traffic statistic data and trends
  • Airport, MRO, Leasing and other related businesses
  • Appointments and promotions

Get relevant data from reliable industry sources!

Leave a comment