Air Samarkand Launches New Flight To Istanbul International Airport On A321neo

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Summary

  • Air Samarkand completes its inaugural flight with a full cabin on March 21, in line with the Western Hemisphere spring solstice.
  • The airline plans to increase weekly frequency on the Istanbul route & add new destinations shortly.
  • The carrier is recruiting prospective cabin crews, who surprisingly require candidates to hold foreign passports.

Uzbekistan welcomes its latest carrier, Air Samarkand. Based in the city with which it shares its name, the airline completed its first flight utilizing an Airbus A321neo. The historic event took place on March 21, coinciding with the traditional holiday of Navruz. This is the day of the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. According to the airline, the new service departed with an entire cabin of 221 passengers and returned from Istanbul with 188 customers onboard.

Related


Inside Air Samarkand: Launch, Growth & Route Ambitions

CEO of Uzbek start-up airline Air Samarkand, Anton Khojayan, has detailed the carriers’ plans in an interview with Simple Flying.

2024-03-22 Air Samarkand team after the first flight

Photo: Air Samarkand

Zafar Butayev, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Air Samarkand (C7), had this to say about the landmark occasion,

This is a big day for our airline, our first scheduled service that has been delivered after months of preparation. We are delighted to cement the long-standing business and cultural ties between Turkey and Uzbekistan by operating a first, and notably full scheduled flight to Istanbul. We are already experiencing huge demand for services, as demonstrated by those traveling on these first services, and plan to increase the weekly frequency of this route, as well as announcing other new routes for Air Samarkand in the near future.

2024-03-22 Air Samarkand Airbus A321 taxis at Istanbul  - caption 3

Photo : Air Samarkand

The airline will operate this new route twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays and plans to add additional destinations to its route network, including Tbilisi, Dubai, and Jeddah, as well as other undisclosed destinations throughout Turkey.

In line with the carrier’s growth ambitions, their website shows they are actively recruiting cabin crew. Interestingly, prospective candidates are expected to hold a foreign passport, and only Uzbek citizens must have proficiency in the local language.

Some background on Air Samarkand

Readers may recall we featured Air Samarkand as the airline startup of the week in November of last year. It is one of Central Asia’s newest carriers, based in Uzbekistan’s second-largest city. The airline has a fleet of state-of-the-art Airbus aircraft, such as their A321neo registered UK32121 and a legacy twin-aisle A330-300 registered UK33001. In November, Bakhtiyor Fazylov, the founder of Air Samarkand, told Simple Flying:

The launch of this new airline is a significant event for the future development of Uzbekistan as a tourism, cultural, and business center. We are delighted to welcome Air Samarkand’s first aircraft, which will soon operate competitive direct flights with safe and quality service to the most popular international destinations.

Over the past year we have implemented a large-scale project to develop the Silk Road Samarkand Tourist Centre, which has already begun to bring the tourism potential of the region to a qualitatively new level, combining ancient heritage with modern infrastructure and facilities.

Over the past year we have implemented a large-scale project to develop the Silk Road Samarkand Tourist Centre, which has already begun to bring the tourism potential of the region to a qualitatively new level, combining ancient heritage with modern infrastructure and facilities.

Uzbek aviation is taking off

Uzbekistan Express @ Tashkent International Airport

Photo: Marina Rich | Shutterstock

The central Asian nation now has two full-service airlines calling it home. The flag carrier Uzbekistan Airways is based in Tashkent, the nation’s capital, and now C7 is based in the famous Silk Road city of Samarkand.

Tashkent Airport is also seeing development. Qatar Airways launched direct flights between Doha and the Uzbek capital earlier this year. The news is that C7’s first scheduled flight was a success. That, combined with foreign interest in connecting the country, shows that tourism and air travel are recovering well from the downturn experienced over the past few years.

What do you think of Air Samarkand’s first flight? Have you flown to Uzbekistan? How was it? Let us know in the comments below.



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