Starting 1 June this year, new direct flights from Samarkand to Istanbul are being launched by Qanot Sharq Airlines. The direct flights of the Qanot Sharq local airline company from Samarkand to Istanbul are planned to operate 3 times a week from Samarkand International Airport.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the new flights on Samarkand-Tashkent route will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Departure from Samarkand is scheduled for 7:00 local time.
Earlier we announced that the first charter flight between Uzbekistan and Israel has started operating last month, on 3 May. The charter flight on the Tel Aviv-Samarkand route is the first one in the history of air communication between Uzbekistan and Israel.
The flights on the Tel Aviv – Samarkand route were also operated by Qanot Sharq, a private airline company, working in the market since 1998. Since the beginning of its history, the airline has been progressively developing and has carried out hundreds of successful air cargo and passenger flights so far. Earlier, the airline company has also announced the opening of additional flights on the Astana-Tashkent route from 3 July 2023.
We would also like to mention that, at the same time, Turkish Airlines and Uzbekistan Airways have been successfully operating direct flight from Samarkand to Istanbul on regular basis today. Increasing the number of direct flights to Samarkand tells about the raising interest among foreigners willing to travel to Uzbekistan, and specifically, the magnificent city of Samarkand.
To ease traveling to Uzbekistan for tourism and business purposes, Uzbek government has been implementing tourism reforms in the country in recent years. Announcing a visa-free regime to visit Uzbekistan for 93 countries and introducing electronic visas for over 50 countries is a significant and effective part of these reforms.
The countries, which are able to visit Uzbekistan without obtaining a visa include all EU member states and UK citizens. The current relaxation of a trip to Uzbekistan has brought significant results to the tourist flow to Uzbekistan in recent years, with visitor numbers peaking at 6.7 million in 2019, right before the outbreak of the pandemic. In 2023 our country expects to outgrow the pre-pandemic numbers of international tourists visiting Uzbekistan, reaching approximately 7 million visitors.
Uzbekistan’s visa-free policies and opening new international flight routes, whereas increasing the existing number of international flights, have indeed been working effectively to attract more tourists to visit Uzbekistan’s tourist cities, such as Samarkand, Bukhara, Shakhrisabz, Khiva and the capital of Uzbekistan – modern Tashkent.