Civil aviation of Uzbekistan: in the mirror of a new history
The path of more than a quarter century, aimed at ensuring the main criteria in its activities - safety, stability and comfort, Uzbekistan Airways passed with dignity and today deservedly takes its place among the leading air carriers in the international market.
During the years of independence, much has changed in the country's civil aviation. Significantly changed the air harbor, they created the conditions for quality service for passengers and aircraft. The national airline has managed to expand its borders across all continents. Aircraft of “Uzbekistan Airways” regularly land and take off in more than 60 cities of Europe, Asia and America, operate charter flights in range from Alaska to New Zealand.
The necessary effective legislative basis has been created that meets international standards. The Air Code, which regulates relations in the field of operation of the airspace of Uzbekistan and the activities of all its users, became the basic document in the activities of the airline. It defined the procedure for the operation of aviation on the territory of the republic, ensuring security, meeting the needs of citizens and the national economy of the country.
Air traffic control system has been improved and modernized. New air navigation systems have been introduced to make flights safer and increase the number of users in the airspace of Uzbekistan. Today, the specialists of the “Uzairnavigation” Center are to implement the introduction of a classification of the airspace and routes of area navigation, including with neighboring countries. It is also planned to modernize the automated ATC system in the Tashkent center, as well as work on the introduction of a voiceless messaging and coordination system. In addition, the international airports of the country will have to take a set of measures for the modernization of radio engineering equipment for flight operations.
Infrastructure projects have been implemented for the reconstruction of airport complexes, runways, construction of terminals, which allowed all airports of the country to meet with international ICAO standards, improve flight safety and quality of service. Terminals were built at the airports "Tashkent", "Bukhara", "Urgench", "Fergana" and "Navoi". In the capital the international arrival terminal with a capacity of 1200 passengers per hour was put into exploitation, a new passenger terminal with a capacity of 400 passengers per hour was opened at the international airport "Nukus", a capital repair of the runway have made at the airport "Urgench". New passenger terminal of Termez International Airport was put into operation. In the future, until 2021, it is planned to implement a number of projects involving the reconstruction and modernization of infrastructure of the other airports of the republic.
New destinations, new regular flights have been mastered, only in the last three months - Mumbai, Vladivostok, Jeddah and Jakarta, the issue of opening new directions to Tbilisi, Munich and Karachi is being worked out. Today, Uzbekistan Airways has passenger electronic interline agreements with 39 airlines around the world. Thanks to them, the route network of the NAC is significantly expanded and passengers are provided with a large list of travel destinations, taking into account connecting flights of partners.
Significantly increased the frequency of international flights. For example, the number of flights on one of the most popular routes Tashkent - Moscow increased to 27 per week, and in total with flights to the capital of Russia from Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Termez, Namangan and Fergana it reaches to 49. The frequency of flights from Tashkent to Seoul, Dushanbe, Bishkek, Minsk, Rostov-on-Don, Astana and Novosibirsk are also increased. In one of the most popular destination - to Istanbul - ten flights a week are performed from the capital and two a week from Samarkand.
Work on the implementation of projects that are able to provide an even higher status sphere continues. In accordance with the adopted state programs, decrees of the President and the government of the country, the airline embodied a number of investment and infrastructure initiatives to purchasing aircraft and modernize the ground infrastructure of airports. In May 2018, the first of four "Boeing-787 Dreamliner" was delivered.
On March,2019 the fleet of the NAC was replenished with the first newest aircraft Airbus A320neo equipped with communication systems and wifi. On April 11 Uzbekistan Airways received the second Airbus A320neo aircraft. On April 13, 2019 Uzbekistan Airways received the fourth Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. In 2019 is planned to receive two Dreamliners. With their arrival, the airline of Uzbekistan will become the leading operator of such aircraft in the CIS. A new service "Internet on board" was introduced.
A number of innovative solutions have been implemented. The NAC has launched a new interactive service "choice of seat", which allows to pre-book the most convenient place for a passenger on board the aircraft. Developed and implemented the official mobile application for booking and purchasing tickets "Uzbekistan Airways". In addition to Visa and UzCard bank cards, MasterCard is also used for online payment of the company's services. This made the sale system more accessible for both citizens of Uzbekistan and other countries. In addition, from February 1, 2019, a new co-branded bank card NAK-NBU was launched, allowing to fly for free on the flights of the National Airline due to the accumulation of points when making payments for goods and services.
A joint action plan between Uzbekistan Airways and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the 2018-2025 has been signed, which is devoted to the further development of the aviation services sector of our country, which provides for the possibilities, necessity and consequences of joining the Republic to the Montreal Convention to unify some rules of the international air traffic. This document includes the provision of IATA advice on promoting the services of the Navoi hub to the international freight traffic market, cooperation with the “Uzairnavigation” Center as a member of the Eurasia Coordination Council for solving common issues, regularly sharing experience and information, and providing IATA practical personnel training methods - specialists of airlines, airports, air traffic control (ATC) and travel agency workers, testing with modern standards and service technologies.
If we talk about numbers, in 2018, the NAC performed more than 21,000 flights, reaching a three-million mark in passenger traffic. Jubilee passenger was registered on December 17th . The year was marked by a number of awards. At the “NETWORK 2018” forum, the airline was awarded the Eurasian Award in the field of aviation marketing. Uzbekistan Airways has been repeatedly recognized as the most punctual airline at “Domodedovo”, “Sochi”, “Krasnodar”, “Kazan” and other international airports. At the III International Forum "Sky Service", a team of flight attendants from the NAC won the prestigious professional competition Cup "Team of the Year", and one of the employees was named "The Best Flight Attendant of the Year."
In 2019 National air carrier replenished the list of awards. Uzbekistan Airways has topped the rating of the most punctual airlines flying to/from the Yekaterinburg’s Koltsovo International Airport in 2018 in the group of international air carriers operating their flights to and from Yekaterinburg. Northern Capital Gateway, the operator of Pulkovo Airport, announces the best airlines of 2018. Uzbekistan Airways is recognized as the most dynamically developing airline of the CIS. The flight attendants team of the National Airline of Uzbekistan took the first place and won the nomination “Trade as an art of service” at the IV International Forum SKY SERVICE 2019. Flight attendant of the National Airline of Uzbekistan recognized as the second vice-miss in the first Sky Lady contest 2019 . The Yemelyanovo Airport LLC, Russia, awarded Uzbekistan Airways with the Certificate of Honour for the air carrier’s contribution to develop international passenger transportation of the airport in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk in 2018. The national airline of Uzbekistan became the winner of the Vnukovo airport award and won the nomination "The most dynamically developing foreign air carrier". The International Civil Aviation Airport Association determined the best airport among the CIS countries in 2018. Once again, the winner was Bukhara International Airport. The special cup and the honorary diploma of the Association became a worthy assessment of the work of the airport staff in 2018. Catering of Uzbekistan Airways took first place in the ranking of foreign airlines with the most delicious meals on board.
Of course, the most important and key event in the history of the NAC was the Decree of the President of the country "On measures for the radical improvement of civil aviation of the Republic of Uzbekistan" dated November 27, 2018. The document aims to fundamentally improve the industry. In particular, through reorganization, Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports will be created on the basis of the NAC. State unitary enterprises that are part of the company are transformed into limited liability companies (LLC). Uzbekistan Helicopters LLC will be established on the basis of the State Enterprise Aviation Company of “Special Aviation Works” (SAR), and the “Uzairnavigation” Center will be transferred to the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan. The decree also provides for the strengthening of state regulation and the creation of a competitive environment by transferring to the State Inspectorate for the Supervision of Safety in the Republic of Uzbekistan (now the Civil Aviation Agency under the Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan) the issuance of permits for one-time flights and the construction of facilities near airfields.
In short, civil aviation of Uzbekistan is waiting for a new stage of development. And the staff of Uzbekistan Airways is set up for positive changes in its activities, which will allow the national airline to take a worthy place in the international aviation market and to decorate the chronicles of Uzbek civil aviation with new achievements. The high professionalism and hard work of the specialists of the NAC over the past 27 years are capable of ensuring an even higher status of the country's civil aviation on the world stage.