Uzbekistan lowered flights to Moscow to EUR 100. Tajikistan is silent

Uzbekistan Airways has launched a campaign to reduce the cost of flights on routes from Uzbekistan to Moscow.

The announcement posted on the Uzbekistan Airways website states that on flights operated from November 29, 2018 to January 15, 2019, the minimum cost of air travel from cities of Uzbekistan to Moscow will be EUR 100+ one way.

The cost of the roundtrip air ticket costs EUR 175+.

It is noted that air tickets are available on the website and at Uzbekistan Airways’ air ticket sales offices.

Also, the airline’s website indicates the possibility of pre-selection and reservation of seats in the aircraft, where both paid and free seats are available.

In early November 2018, it was reported that the State Committee for Tourism, Uzbekistan, developed a concept to develop tourism in Uzbekistan, and its authors believe that the monopoly position of Uzbekistan Airways contributes to high air ticket prices and insufficient air connections.

The concept proposes to divide the company into several competing companies, distinguishing between aviation, airport management and the aviation regulatory body.

It was also proposed to increase the number of foreign airlines, including low-cost airlines, which make regular flights to Uzbekistan, by introducing the Open Sky regime at some international airports in Uzbekistan.

These and other measures should help reduce airfare in the total cost of tour packages down to US $ 100-150.

And what about Tajikistan?

In Tajikistan, apparently, no one is going to reduce the prices of air tickets, at least on the eve of the New Year holidays. At least, the Tajik airlines are still silent about this.

Moreover, the cost of travel by air in the country has almost doubled since the beginning of the year.

The cheapest air ticket from Dushanbe to Moscow, for example, is on December 7th and websites of air ticket sales agencies sell them at EUR 195.

From Kulyab to Moscow on the same date, you can fly for at least EUR 201, and from Khujand such a flight will cost EUR 131 for each passenger.

Losing passengers

Many Tajiks have become accustomed to fly to Russia and other countries from Kyrgyz cities, which is much cheaper than flying there from Tajik airports.

And with the development of ties between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the Tashkent International Airport has already become a very attractive transit point for Tajik citizens.

The difference between the cost of air tickets in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is less than in the case of Kyrgyzstan, but it is. And for a person with a small income, even a small difference in price matters.

In this regard, domestic airlines, Tajik Air and Somon Air, lose their potential passengers.

Expensive jet fuel

Tajik airlines justify air ticket prices in Tajikistan with the high cost of jet fuel in Tajikistan. Currently, airlines flying from Tajik airports are buying jet fuel for over US $ 1,500 per metric ton. It is almost twice as expensive as in the airports of neighbouring countries.

At the same time 40% of the cost of an air ticket is formed due to the cost of jet fuel. Since the beginning of this year, the cost of aviation fuel in Tajikistan has increased by more than 30%.

The Refueling Company explains the rise in price of jet fuel by the rising cost of oil on the exchanges.

The company also noted changes in the legislation of Russia, according to which it became more profitable for the Russian oil refinery to sell jet fuel inside the country rather than export it.

Before this, the Refueling Company acquired jet fuel from the oil refinery in Russia’s Orsk on preferential terms: Russia exempted Tajikistan from customs duties when importing any kind of fuel and lubricants.

Now the fuel is supplied mainly from Turkmenistan, and the Refueling Company pays a fee of 5% during its import.

In addition, petrol stations complain about the large debts of domestic airlines, which creates problems for the uninterrupted supply of jet fuel.

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