Singapore Loses Vital Link To Central Asia

Despite being a vital link for Singapore, Uzbekistan Airways will be terminating its Tashkent to Singapore route, effective April 26.

Uzbekistan Airways uses a mix of Boeing 757s, 767s and 787s on the route.

The announcement comes as a huge blow to Singapore Changi, who have, therefore, lost their only service to Central Asia and Uzbekistan. As one of the best airports in the world, featuring inside gardens and lots more, this link was vital to Singapore Changi's success.

Uzbekistan Airways only recently celebrated 5 years of operation on its Singapore route, on April 4. Its Singapore route either continues on to Kuala Lumpur before returning back to Tashkent, or operates to Kuala Lumpur before flying to Singapore and returning back to Tashkent:

· Tashkent - Singapore - Kuala Lumpur - Tashkent

· Tashkent - Kuala Lumpur - Singapore - Tashkent

The Singapore stopover will be replaced by Jakarta in both situations.

It is believed that Singapore has not been able to attract a sufficient number of passengers to allow Uzbekistan Airways' service to be profitable. The majority of the passengers on the route go to Kuala Lumpur rather than finishing at Singapore as the former is significantly cheaper in terms of hotels and general costs.

Uzbekistan Airways is doing fairly well. Its operations expand quite far, and the airline is now one of the biggest within Central Asia. Air Astana, based in Kazakhstan is one of its major competitors, operating a similar business model. However, Air Astana is significantly bigger and has a fleet of more advanced aircraft. But, as Uzbekistan Airways continues to grow, it remains fierce competition between the two airlines. Air Astana was on the list of airlines Singapore was looking to attract, although it is likely that Changi has failed. Watching Uzbekistan Airways' failure, Air Astana may be reluctant to launch anything similar in the near future.

Uzbekistan Airways is its country's flag carrier. It has a fleet of both old and modern jets, including the Boeing 757, 767 and now, the brand new 787. With services beginning to the USA and its network continuously growing, Singapore lost a very important carrier.

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