Air Samarkand announces Istanbul as its first scheduled international destination 

Air Samarkand

is one of a handful of startup airlines that have launched in the Central Asian country since the government started to liberalize the air transport sector in a quest to bring more tourists to the country. 

Air Samarkand, in particular, started its operations in December 2024 and, until now, it had been operating charter flights to Istanbul and India from Uzbekistan. 

The airline is based and takes its name from the city of Samarkand, a historical city in the famed ancient Silk Road, which is Uzbekistan’s top tourist destination. 

The new Samarkand-Istanbul service will operate twice weekly and prices start at $99 per person. Unlike other airlines that have cut on baggage allowance recently, this price allows for two bags of up to 23 kg per passenger plus a carry-on bag. 

As of March 2024, Air Samarkand operates a fleet of three aircraft, one Airbus A330-300 and two A321s. These aircraft are fitted with a two-class cabin with 36 business and 277 economy class seats on the A330 and 12 business and 182 economy class seats on the A321s. 

In addition to its current operations to Turkey an India, on its website, the Uzbek airline declares its intention to launch flights to China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea and unspecified European destinations in the near future. 

Air Samarkand is also expected to add soon Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet. 

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