Uzbekistan Airways’ press conference at the National Press Center of Uzbekistan

On June 20, 2019 the National Press Center of Uzbekistan hosted a press conference for Uzbekistan Airways, devoted to the implementation of the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan “On measures to radically improve the Uzbekistan’s civil aviation sector”. The event was attended by the heads of structural divisions of the airline, the Republican Council of the trade union for civil aviation workers of Uzbekistan, national and foreign media.

In his speech, Umid Husanov, First Deputy General Director, Uzbekistan Airways, noted that over the years of independence, much has changed in the country’s civil aviation. The aircraft fleet has been updated, the air ports have changed significantly, and conditions have been created for providing quality service to passengers and aircraft. New air navigation systems have been introduced, new types of aircraft have been mastered. Airline liners of Uzbekistan fly to Europe, Asia, America, from Alaska to New Zealand.

Currently, there are regular flights to 63 international destinations from Uzbekistan Airways’ airports, in 2017 their number was 58. In the past period, starting from 2018, four new destinations were opened – Mumbai (three flights a week), Vladivostok (one flight per week), Jeddah (three flights per week) and Jakarta (two flights per week).

Following the results of 2018, Uzbekistan Airways having crossed the three-million mark, transported 3 million 173 thousand passengers for the first time in its history, which amounted to 117% of the 2017 figure including 1,091 thousand passengers to foreign countries, 1,477 thousand – in the CIS and 606 thousand passengers – domestically. Of this number of transported passengers, more than 800 thousand are citizens of foreign states, including 56 thousand citizens of Kazakhstan, 16 thousand – Tajikistan, 12 thousand citizens of Kyrgyzstan. The main markets for passenger traffic for NAC are the Russian Federation, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Republic of Korea.

In order to execute instructions on a number of regulatory legal acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the airline in 2018 provided discounts in the amount of 20% of the minimum economy class fare for persons traveling to the Russian Federation for temporary work (out of 33,450 air tickets sold in the amount of UZS 48,9 billion provided a discount to persons of this category amounted to UZS 9.9 billion), in the amount of 50% for residents of the Republic of Karakalpak Stan and the Khorezm region. Reduced fares on international flights to 30% for foreign tourists.

Despite the higher cost of domestic jet fuel, the average tariff on international destinations was reduced by 13% last year, and by 50% on local destinations (the share of jet fuel costs is up to 40% of the cost of the flight).

The efficiency of the use of the aircraft fleet has been increased and the number of flights performed has been increased due to the introduction of an optimal flight schedule, optimization of the technological process of servicing aircraft and performing peripheral flights based on aircraft in Moscow and St. Petersburg. As a result, the number of flights increased by 36 frequencies per week. The average flight time for 1 aircraft in 2018 was 10.9 hours / day, in 2017 this figure was equal to 8.1 hours / day, in world practice it is 10 hours / day.

Significant work was carried out by the NAC to expand its fleet and develop infrastructure. NAC fleet is replenished with the newest Airbus A320neo aircraft. The launch of the fourth Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with a total cost of US $ 132 million (the loan is repaid in due time at its own expense), this year another two aircraft of this type are expected to be delivered. With the receipt of new airliners, NAC began to provide a new service “Internet on board”.

New terminals were reconstructed and put into operation at the Tashkent, Urgench and Nukus airports, the total amount of costs was 300 billion UZS (financing was carried out at the expense of NAC’s own funds), this allowed improving the quality and significantly reducing the passenger service time. A new, unique V9000 Commander simulator manufactured by Flame-Aviation was installed at the Uzairways’ Training Center to train firefighting skills during the flight.

Established active cooperation with the airlines of neighboring countries. At the aviation enterprise Uzbekistan Airways Technics, aircraft are serviced by long-term partners including SCAT Airlines (Kazakhstan) and Tajik Air (Tajikistan). The Uzbekistan Airways’ Training Center provides training services on a permanent basis for flight personnel servicing such air carriers, as Air Astana (Kazakhstan), SCAT Airlines (Kazakhstan) and KamAir (Afghanistan).

At the same time, due to the liberalization of the foreign exchange market, the number of foreign air carriers flying to / from cities of the Republic of Uzbekistan increased by 18% in 2018 and reached 20 in the period 2016-2017. there were 13 airlines. Last year, foreign airlines performed 11,957 flights, which is 9% more compared to 2017 (10,977 flights). This has increased competition in the Uzbek aviation market.

The attention of the participants of the press conference was focused on the fact that the Decree of the President of the country “On measures for radical improvement of civil aviation of the Republic of Uzbekistan” dated November 27, 2018, of course, became the most important and key event in the history of Uzbekistan Airways. Journalists were given detailed information on the progress of this document.

It was noted that according to the Decree, by reorganization, Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports will be created on the basis of the NJSC. State unitary enterprises that are part of the airline are transformed into limited liability companies (LLC). Uzbekistan Helicopters LLC will be established on the basis of the State Aviation Enterprise of Special Aviation Works (CAP), and the Center will be handed over to the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The decree also provides for the strengthening of state regulation and the creation of a competitive environment by transferring to the State Aviation Supervision (now the Civil Aviation Agency under the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan) the authority to issue permits for one-time flights and construction of facilities near airfields. The creation of the Ministry of Transport as a single body of state administration in the areas of road, rail, air, river transport, metro, as well as road facilities is a very positive and important step for the development of the domestic economy. In accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures to fundamentally improve the public administration system in the field of transport”, the key task of this ministry is to conduct a unified state policy and regulate the transport industry.

In order to fulfill the tasks, set for the radical improvement of civil aviation, a working group consisting of leaders and responsible specialists was organized at Uzbekistan Airways. An action plan was developed for the reorganization of the airline and its member enterprises, which defines the mechanisms for their implementation.

Currently, the national airline of Uzbekistan, with the support of the World Bank Group, is developing a business plan with the aim of achieving leadership in the air transport market of the Central Asian region. For this purpose, international practices are being introduced in the NAC, the division of air transportation functions and airport activities in independent enterprises is taking place. The airline focuses on increasing the revenue side of its budget and reducing costs.

The national airline, together with the Central Securities Depository and World Bank consultants, drafted the Statutes of Uzbekistan Airways JSC and Uzbekistan Airports JSC, where the main tasks of these organizations are defined. Uzbekistan Airways Joint-Stock Company is established on the basis of the Directorate of Uzbekistan Airways with the involvement of the state-owned unitary enterprises, such as the Flight Center, the Main Agency for Air Traffic and the Procurement Complex named Uzaviatekhsnab (Uzbek Aviation Technical Provision). JSC Uzbekistan Airways will also act as a founder for LLC Training Center, JSC Uzbekistan Airways Technics, Catering and Uzbekistan Helicopters. The structure of Uzbekistan Airports JSC will include all the existing airports of the country.

Efficient use of the aircraft fleet, development of new directions and expansion of the geography of flights, improvement of the quality of services provided, implementation of a flexible tariff policy, ensuring a high level of flight safety and quality of aircraft maintenance, as well as the integration of airlines into the international airline community and the achievement of a regional leader in The sphere of air transportation is the main tasks of Uzbekistan Airways JSC.

Development and implementation of long-term development strategies for airports, attracting investments to modernize their infrastructure, ensure regularity and safety of flights, maintain a high level of service for passengers and air carriers at airports, optimize their service processes, create for them all the necessary comfort conditions, including expansion at airports networks of modern trade, catering, banking and other passenger services, as well as improving infrastructure and creating favourable conditions for high-quality services in the field of logistics will be the main directions in the activity of Uzbekistan Airports JSC.

At the press conference, the Uzbekistan Airways management expressed its confidence that the ongoing reforms will bring significant benefits in terms of economic growth, increasing the efficiency of the airline, improving its competitiveness and ensuring a high level of flight safety. It was noted that the team of Uzbekistan Airways is set up for positive changes in its activities, which will allow the national air carrier to occupy a leading position in the international aviation market and to decorate the history of Uzbek civil aviation with new achievements.

In the course of the dialogue with journalists, the Uzbekistan Airways experts gave exhaustive answers to all their questions. Topics related to the tariff policy of the airline, the implementation of projects to modernize the aircraft fleet and the ground structure, the improvement of the quality of services, aircraft maintenance, airport operations, etc. were discussed.

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