Uzbekistan Airways (HY, Tashkent Islam Karimov) is set to proceed with the establishment of a low-cost carrier following a series of studies initiated over a year ago. The review was started after Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev issued a decree - UP-4861 - in December 2016 requiring all state-owned enterprises to submit proposals as to how the Central Asian state could best boost its foreign tourist inflows over the period 2017-2021.

According to the local Gazeta news agency, airline Deputy Chairman Umid Khusanov told a media gathering in Tashkent this week that the yet-to-be-named subsidiary could launch as early as this year, pending the finalization of its structure.

At present, Uzbekistan Airways is studying cases from around the world, in particular, Aeroflot Group and its Pobeda (DP, Moscow Vnukovo) subsidiary, before making a decision.

Once finalized and in service, the airline will focus on traditional inbound and outbound tourism destinations including the Russian, Turkish, and Egyptian markets. According to the ch-aviation capacity module, Russia is currently Uzbekistan's largest origin market with 20,840 seats/week (51.21%) followed by Turkey (9.42%), Kazakhstan (6.99%), South Korea (5.85%), and China (4.35%).

To further Uzbekistan's appeal to international carriers, government recently proclaimed Open Skies at three international airports namely Andizhan, Nukus and Navoi.