Silk Avia, Uzbekistan’s new regional airline, and aircraft manufacturer ATR have signed a Heads of Agreement (HOA) to purchase five new ATR 72-600s. Three aircraft are directly from ATR and two are from a lessor. Along with this agreement, the airline will shortly begin using three pre-owned ATR 72-600s for its operations.

The promotion of domestic tourism and the expansion of existing businesses are the key goals of Silk Avia Airlines. The airline owner, Uzbekistan Airports, made significant investments in expanding and modernizing an extensive network of airports around the country in order to serve both the local and regional markets better.

The airline will improve connectivity within the region around Tashkent and offer direct flights between major cities in Uzbekistan.

These aircraft will introduce new point-to-point options throughout the country, serving around 40 itineraries. They will also interconnect 11 domestic airports and seven more in the future, assisting the country’s expansion and growing tourism economy.

Rano Dzhuraeva, Chair of Uzbekistan Airports, says

“We are excited to be soon launching our operations with an all-ATR fleet. As a new low-cost airline, we undertook an extensive review of which aircraft would provide the best solution. Our selection of the ATR 72-600 is the perfect choice for us as they will ensure we can offer our passengers the most modern, comfortable and reliable experience in the most affordable and sustainable way.”

The Fuel-Efficient Versatile ATR 72-600

ATR-72-600 Prototype
ATR 72-600 prototype: Air to Air over “Le Bassin d’Arcachon” and La Dune du Pyla © ATR/PECCHI

When compared to a regional jet of comparable size, the ATR 72-600 consumes 45 percent less fuel and emits 45 percent less CO2, making it the ideal choice for cost-effective and environmentally responsible growth. New PW127XT engines installed in the planes will save fuel use by 3 percent and maintenance expenses by 20 percent compared to the old engines.

The planes operated by Silk Avia will be the first brand-new ATRs in all of Central Asia.

“There is no better solution to provide essential links than an ATR 72-600, the sustainable benchmark in regional aviation today. In a fast-growing country such as Uzbekistan, Silk Avia will play a key role by offering vital links for local communities and boosting the economy.

Studies have shown that an increase of 10 percent in regional flights can lead to a 5% increase in local GDP and ATR contributes by providing the most responsible and affordable regional aircraft. We warmly welcome Silk Avia as one of our newest customers, opening a new market for ATR in Central Asia.” – ATR Chief Executive Officer, Nathalie Tarnaud Laude

The Silk Avia-ATR GMA

In addition to this, Silk Avia and ATR have announced that they have signed a Global Maintenance Agreement (GMA). By utilizing the expertise of the manufacturer during this pay-by-the-hour contract that spans a period of five years, Silk Avia will be able to service its fleet of ATR aircraft while simultaneously lowering its overall maintenance expenses and increasing its operational capacity.

According to the statement released by ATR, the agreement encompasses repair and overhaul services, as well as a Line Replaceable Unit Pool Exchange Service, an on-site supply of spare parts, and a separate agreement for spare parts, in addition to propeller availability and maintenance services.

Will the introduction of new aircraft fulfil Uzbekistan Airport’s expansion plans? Share your valuable comments below.

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