Czech Airlines will initiate scheduled service from Prague to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, thereby enhancing the connections between Europe and Central Asia. With this new Czech Airlines route, Tashkent, the largest city in the area, will be linked to Prague twice a week. On the basis of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Uzbek side, Czech Airlines will begin operating its service to Tashkent on 19 August 2009, as regularly scheduled flights. Czech Airlines will fly this route with its most modern aircraft, the Airbus A319, with room for 135 passengers, using code-share cooperation with Uzbekistan Airways.
Czech Airlines aircraft will fly in the summer flight schedule on Wednesdays and Sundays, at 22:50. They will land in Tashkent, after a nearly six-hour flight, the next morning, at 7:15 local time. The aircraft will return from Tashkent to Prague on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:05, landing at Ruzyn? Airport at 13:30 Central European daylight savings time. The departure and arrival times have been selected so as to suit not only the clientele travelling between Prague and Tashkent, but also to advantageously tie into Czech Airlines flights to and from Europe.
Czech Airlines expects that the new OK Prague – Tashkent route will be used not only by business passengers, but also by tourists from Uzbekistan. The local clientele, i.e., passengers not planning to transfer in Prague to connecting flights, but only travelling to the Czech Republic, should account for most of the passengers. With a transfer in Prague, the Tashkent route will also suit passengers from Central Asia, in flying on to anywhere in Western Europe; and on the other hand, passengers from Western Europe travelling to Central Asia. “Czech Airlines is the only Central European carrier offering scheduled direct flights to Tashkent,” said Vice President for Marketing and Product Development Petr Pišt?lák. As he adds: “Not only Central Asia, but also the Russian Federation and trans-Caucasian republics are important and promising markets for Czech Airlines, on which we intend to focus more.” The first step was the strengthening of service to nearly all of the routes to the area in this year’s summer schedule, and another is the opening of new routes.
Czech Airlines launched the Prague-Tashkent service on 3 July 2009, which was temporarily operated as charter flights. The Memorandum of Understanding with the Uzbek side was signed on 6 August 2009. It defines not only the extent and terms of cooperation, but also enables the service to function as scheduled flights and allows for its further development and full marketing and sales support, by both Czech Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways.