NEWS AND EVENTS
December 31, 2014
The Tashkent airport has welcomed its second domestic cargo Boeing
Today, almost half of the world cargo traffic is carried between Europe and Southeast Asia. The benefits of transit countries willing to provide carriers with convenient infrastructure and effective servicing are as clear as day. The national airline of Uzbekistan solved the problem in a short time: by using advantages, it has not just won the competition for the international flow of goods in the region, but has also become a player in the global market.
Uzbekistan takes advantage of its huge transit capacity both by land and air. Establishment of cutting-edge airports with advanced infrastructure across the country helped arrange an efficient logistics system and maintain regular flights between Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
However, the success did not come immediately. The year 2008 marked a countdown for the country to enter the international freight transport market, when the national airline of Uzbekistan and South Korean Air launched a unique project on the creation of an international logistics hub on the basis of the Navoi airport. The ambitious job was done in an extremely short time. Some two years later, the partners built an entire ground infrastructure needed for effective delivery, sorting, storage and handling of cargo. They built new parking places for heavy aircrafts, installed a second instrument landing system, purchased additional buses, and expanded the cargo terminal.
The parties concurrently addressed other important tasks like training of qualified staff and preparation of legal regulations to ensure prompt processing of all necessary procedures for cargo transportation. To engage the capacities available, Uzbekistan leased two cargo aircrafts A300-600 from the Korean Air, which fly to many European and Asian cities.
Uzbekistan has been increasingly demonstrating itself in the air cargo market. The time was ripe for a new leap forward. Cargo aircraft A300-600 did not meet all the company’s needs. The terms of the lease implied that Uzbekistan Airways had no right to apply its own national symbols and colors on board of the aircrafts, which is actually a key factor in promoting the domestic airline industry. Identity is vital in the market of tough competition. So today, landing in dozens of cities around the world, Uzbekistan Airways passenger aircrafts demonstrate the level and quality of not just the company’s development strategy, but of the whole national policy. That is why it was so important to maintain not just load lifting and fuel saving crafts, but to promote the national brand.
To address these challenges, the national carrier has implemented a joint project with its longtime partner, the Boeing Corporation. The parties agreed to convert two passenger aircrafts that had been in use over 20 years into freight aircrafts. The decision was reasonable and based on the international practice of converting passenger aircrafts into freighters, as practiced by the world’s leading airlines.
The aircrafts underwent the primary preparation in the domestic air plant Uzbekistan Airways Technics. Then both aircrafts flew to Singapore, where the bulk of the work was carried out at aircraft maintenance base of the SASCO Company. Engineers cut a special hatch for shipping under appropriate conditions, re-designed the floor, installed cargo equipment, new air conditioning systems and fire alarm systems. The cockpit was transformed as well. The aircraft payload reached 53 tons. The crafts were certified at the fourth level of noise allowing takeoffs and landings at airports with restrictions for night flights, especially in London and Frankfurt-on-Maine.
The first converted aircraft landed at the Tashkent airport in early November this year, the second one - just a few days ago. It stands to the complete C-check maintenance and paint. Upon completion of all the tests the aircrafts will fly from the Navoi international airport to Dubai, Tianjin, Frankfurt, Aktobe, New Delhi, on average 13 flights per week. The domestic ‘heavenly truck’ has made its maiden voyage with cargo from Urumqi to Tashkent.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)