Silk Avia receives first new ATR 72-600 in Central Asia

A Silk Avia ATR 72-6000 in flight
Photo Credit: ATR

In a significant development for regional aviation in Central Asia, Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and regional aircraft manufacturer ATR, have jointly announced the successful delivery of the first new ATR 72-600 to Uzbekistan’s airline Silk Avia.

This marks an achievement for the manufacturer ATR, notably becoming the first ATR regional aircraft ever delivered to the Central Asian region.

Background and Significance

The ATR 72-600, delivered to Silk Avia in December 2023, forms part of an order announced in November 2022 during the visit of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in Paris.

The contract includes a total of five new ATR 72-600 aircraft, with two being provided by NAC and three directly by the manufacturer.

This delivery is particularly significant as it represents the first new ATR aircraft ever delivered to Central Asia.

As a regional commuter aircraft, the ATR 72-600 is renowned for its advanced technology, superior economics, and unrivaled versatility.

It is expected to significantly contribute to the development of regional connectivity in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries.

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Impact on Regional Connectivity

Silk Avia, now part of Uzbekistan Airways, will integrate these brand-new aircraft into its existing ATR fleet.

This integration will enhance the airline’s ability to serve a wider range of destinations and meet the growing demand for efficient and low-emission regional air travel.

Shukhrat Khudaykulov, Chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Airways, expressed the airline’s ambitious goal to become a leader in air transportation on domestic routes.

“Silk Avia, which has become a part of Uzbekistan Airways Group, has set an ambitious goal to become a leader in air transportation on domestic routes of the country,” he explained.

“It is planned to constantly expand the route network, increase the number of flights and efficiently operate them on new ATR 72-600.”

The new ATR 72-600 aircraft will play a crucial role in achieving the goal of air travel affordability, thus contributing to the development of domestic tourism.

Statements from Key Figures

Norman C.T. Liu, President & CEO of NAC, welcomed Silk Avia as a customer and expressed pleasure in delivering the first new ATR 72-600 to the airline.

Alexis Vidal, ATR’s SVP Commercial, also welcomed Silk Avia to the ATR family and emphasized the important role these aircraft will play in the region, adding:

“Their selection of the ATR 72-600 marks an important step as we begin operations in the promising market of Uzbekistan and wider Central Asia.”

Photo Credits: ATR

Future Prospects

Silk Avia was established on 6 July 2021 and now is a subsidiary of Uzbekistan Airways Group. Silk Avia fleet consists of medium-haul passenger aircraft ATR 72-600 with a capacity of up to 72 people.

Their stated goal is to connect all regions of Uzbekistan, flying both to the most popular destinations and reviving long-forgotten routes.

The delivery of the ATR 72-600 to Silk Avia not only marks a significant milestone but also highlights the potential for growth in the Central Asian market.

Affordable and low-emission regional aviation is poised to play a crucial role in connecting remote communities and driving economic development in the region.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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