Uzbekistan Airways in collaboration with Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) is planning to introduce two direct flights from Tashkent to Mumbai.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and India, Uzbekistan Embassy invited Indian travel trade and delegates to present the business and touristic potential of Uzbekistan. Atabek Atabaev, Country Manager, Uzbekistan Airways, said, “We are planning to start our direct flights from Tashkent to Mumbai and have come to the last stages of the project. In a few months’ time we should be able to get permissions from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, for this operation and once the permissions are granted, we will immediately start operations with two direct flights.”
Atabaev feels that this connection will allow Uzbekistan to tap into the central Indian and southern Indian market. Currently, Uzbekistan Airways operates six weekly flights to Delhi and three weekly flights to Amritsar from Tashkent. “We are working in collaboration with Mumbai Airports for this project. We started focusing on tourism sector lately and our association with Indian travel agents and tour operators has resulted in an increase in demand for the destination. In 2016, we saw an increase of almost 20 per cent in terms of Indian tourist traffic to Uzbekistan and over 70 per cent of our load is from the Indian market,” adds Atabaev.
Family travellers constitute as many as 70 per cent of the tourists from India to Uzbekistan and this year the destination is also planning to target the FIT and MICE travellers from India. Aslam Akbarav, Counselor (Political) Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, informed, that in 2016, Uzbekistan received a total of 7720 Indian tourists and the destination is working to increase this number this year. “There are international hotel brands and new properties to offer all modern facilities to the guests. We are working with approximately 38 Indian travel agencies and tour operators and are looking forward to increase our partnership with the travel trade,” said Akbarov.