26 Feb 2024 14:58

Four airports in Uzbekistan to be transferred to private management - authorities

TASHKENT. Feb 26 (Interfax) - Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has familiarized himself with plans to modernize four airports in Uzbekistan and transfer them to private management at a presentation event dealing with the transformation of state-owned companies operating in the aviation sector, the presidential press service said.

"The presentation focused on plans for this year to speed up transformation processes in the Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports joint-stock societies, expand the range of their services, and increase revenue. In particular, the process of obtaining an international credit rating for the national airline and its IPO will be started. The airports of Bukhara, Namangan, Urgench, and Andizhan will be transferred to private management and modernized," it said.

The president was informed that the number of flights should be increased by 20% this year.

The plan envisions reducing expenditures in the sector by 20%, selling old planes which consume a large amount of fuel, and buying more advanced and economical aircraft, the press service said.

"Fuel consumption should be reduced substantially by choosing optimal flight routes to 72 destinations. Unused and unprofitable assets will be put up for sale," it said.

The participants also discussed hiring highly-qualified foreign specialists to state-own airlines and improving personnel training processes.

There are 15 airlines, including ten private ones, operating in Uzbekistan, the press service said. They purchased 28 new planes in 2023. The number of flights in Uzbekistan has doubled over the past seven years. After Samarkand Airport was transferred to private management, passenger traffic there has quadrupled to reach one million people.