Air Samarkand (9S, Samarkand) has taken delivery of its first aircraft, an A330-300. FlightRadar24 ADS-B data shows 2-LCCV (msn 1177), an ex-China Airlines jet configured with 277 seats in Economy Class and 36 in Business Class, ferried in to Samarkand from Taipei Taoyuan on November 3. Based on ch-aviation fleets ownership data, the aircraft is owned by Minsheng Financial Leasing special purpose vehicle Bluesky Magial 1001 Leasing Co Ltd.

The nascent Uzbek carrier said in a statement it expects to take delivery of a second aircraft, an A321-200, "in the coming days" to be configured with 169 Economy, 18 Premium Economy, and 12 Business Class seats. By the end the end of the year, it plans to have four additional A330/A320 family jets in its fleet.

An airline spokesman has since told ch-aviation the widebody will become UK 33001 on the Uzbek register once an AOC has been conferred. The A321, msn 5936, will also become UK 32120.

"As for the other aircraft, we are now in the process of signing contracts with lessors. One of them is an A321ceo, and two A321neo. We very much hope to receive them by the end of the year," he said.

While its website states that it plans to serve up to 25 destinations in Europe, Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, China and "other Asian countries", Air Samarkand said in a press release it would initially serve Türkiye, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. During a December 2022 press conference, it specifically mentioned Istanbul and Antalya as the initial destinations it would like to serve in Türkiye.

Bakhtiyor Fazylov, the airline's founder, put its launch in context with other investments being made in the Samarkand region saying: "Over the past year we have implemented a large-scale project to develop the Silk Road Samarkand Tourist Centre, which has already begun to bring the tourism potential of the region to a qualitatively new level, combining ancient heritage with modern infrastructure and facilities. This development will continue with the launch of Air Samarkand's services, which will soon directly connect the ancient city of Samarkand with major tourism and commercial centres."