Tajik Air, the national airline of Tajikistan, was forced to cease operations Friday due to financial problems. The airline has yet to operate a flight this year, but the state-owned carrier still hopes for a successful restart. However, since private-owned competitor Somon Air Tajikistan is the preferred airline even for governmental missions, it does not seem very likely that the required funding will be granted to Tajik Air.

All flights have been removed from the timetable of Tajik Air’s main hub at Dushanbe Airport. Somon Air plans to accept Tajik Air tickets on their flights, though it has only begun operating one additional daily service to Moscow so far.

Tajik Air’s fleet consisted of three active jet aircraft : a 32-year-old Boeing 767-300 as well as a Boeing 737-300 and a Boeing 757-200 (EY-751), both 27 years old. The airline served domestic routes with Antonov An-28 aircraft, and it is not yet clear how the flight connections to these regional destinations will be restored, as Somon Air currently operates only six Boeing 737 aircraft.

Tajik Air’s main destinations were Russian cities, so Russian airlines will likely increase frequencies to their destinations in Tajikistan. Somon Air will likely expand its network to replace some of Tajik Air’s frequencies.

Founded in 1924, Tajik Air was among the oldest active airlines in the world. This means that air travel was established in Tajikistan earlier than there were cars or trains in the Soviet republic, and it became one of the essential branches of the country’s economy. The airline used to operate many routes within the whole Soviet Union as well as humanitarian missions with a variety of aircraft, including Ilyushin Il-18 und Tupolev Tu-154 planes.

Featured image by Alexander Stahl/Aeronautics Online

Categories: Industry Talk