Uzbekistan Airways (HY, Tashkent Islam Karimov) has detailed further plans for its new low-cost division, known as Uzbekistan Airways Express (HY, Tashkent Islam Karimov) and will focus primarily on leisure routes.

According to the plan, Uzbekistan Express will operate two A320-200s, sourced from Uzbekistan Airways, that will be reconfigured with 174 economy-class seats instead of the current mainline layout of 12 business and 138 economy seats. The plan, however, is to add two more A320s in due course.

The LCC brand will focus on domestic Uzbek routes as well as international sectors and will make its debut on August 30 on the Tashkent-Moscow Domodedovo-Tashkent route. Other key cities it will serve include Novosibirsk, Kazan Int'l, Rostov Platov, Krasnodar, Adler/Sochi, Mineralnye Vody, and Ekaterinburg in Russia as well as Aktau and Aktobe in Kazakhstan.

Provisional ch-aviation schedules data shows the following Express-branded flights have been loaded:

  • Tashkent-Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev: single flight from September 1;
  • Nukus-Aktobe: weekly starting September 2;
  • Tashkent-Nukus: 4x weekly starting September 2;
  • ​Nukus-Aktau: weekly starting September 6;
  • Tashkent-Urgench: single flight from September 7.

To compete with other foreign LCCs, as well as the recently launched Qanot Sharq (HH, Tashkent Islam Karimov), Uzbekistan Express fares will be 20% cheaper than those of the mainline.

Earlier this year, Uzbekistan's president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, said that the state-owned carrier would remodel itself as a hybrid operation with an LCC brand to help stimulate local travel demand while at the same time allowing the Central Asian state to compete more effectively with rival operators. The aim is to eventually sell a 51% stake in the LCC to a strategic investor.

Editorial Comment: Updates with latest schedule data - 30.08.2021 - 12:17 UTC