Uzbekistan's Silk Avia receives Central Asia's first new ATR 72-600

By Tawney Kruger in Tashkent February 20, 2024

Uzbekistan's Silk Avia has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 twin-engine turboprop aircraft, courtesy of Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and ATR.

The development follows an agreement sealed during Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's Paris visit in November 2022.

Five ATR 72-600 planes, known as "regional aircraft", are slated for Silk Avia's expansion. Two aircraft will arrive from NAC and three directly from the manufacturer.

The ATR 72-600, with registration UK72604, completed the Toulouse (TLS) to Istanbul (IST) to Tashkent (TAS) route to arrive at Tashkent International Airport on February 16.

Following a decision introduced by Mirziyoyev last year, 100% of Uzbekistan Airports in Silk Avia was transferred to Uzbekistan Helicopters. This move is aimed at enhancing the number of domestic flights, expanding geographical coverage, introducing new routes and developing the ATR72-600 aircraft fleet.

ATR said: "It is the first new ATR aircraft ever delivered to Central Asia. With its advanced technology, superior economics, and unrivalled versatility, the ATR 72-600 will contribute to the development of regional connectivity in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries."

Silk Avia's integration into Uzbekistan Airways is expected to increase the airline's capabilities, enabling it to serve a broader range of destinations and cater to the growing need for efficient and low-emission regional air travel.

Shukhrat Khudaykulov, chairman of the board of Uzbekistan Airways, outlined the company's objectives, saying: "Silk Avia, which has become a part of Uzbekistan Airways Group, has set an ambitious goal to become a leader in air transportation on domestic routes of the country. It is planned to constantly expand the route network, increase the number of flights and efficiently operate them on the new ATR 72-600."

Silk Avia, created by Uzbekistan Airports in November 2021, operates as the country's first regional airline, having launched its first scheduled flights on 25 April 2023. 

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