Silk Avia introduces first new ATR 72-600 in Central Asia

  • Nordic Aviation Capital delivered first new ATR 72-600 to Uzbekistan’s airline Silk Avia
  • Contract for five new ATR 72-600 was signed in November 2022

Toulouse, 19 February 2024 – Leading regional aircraft lessor Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) and ATR, the world’s number one regional aircraft manufacturer, announced the successful delivery of the first new ATR 72-600 to Uzbekistan’s airline Silk Avia. This milestone marks the beginning of a new era for regional connectivity in Central Asia.

The ATR 72-600, which was delivered by ATR to NAC in December 2023, is part of an order announced in November 2022 during the visit of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in Paris. The contract includes a total of five new ATR 72-600 aircraft, with two being provided by NAC and three directly by the manufacturer.

It is the first new ATR aircraft ever delivered to Central Asia. With its advanced technology, superior economics and unrivalled versatility, the ATR 72-600 will contribute to the development of regional connectivity in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries. Silk Avia, now part of Uzbekistan Airways, will integrate these brand new aircraft into its existing ATR fleet, enhancing the airline’s ability to serve a wider range of destinations and meet the growing demand for efficient and low-emission regional air travel.

Shukhrat Khudaykulov, Chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Airways, said “Silk Avia, which has become a part of Uzbekistan Airways Group, has set an ambitious goal to become a leader in air transportation on domestic routes of the country. It is planned to constantly expand the route network, increase the number of flights and efficiently operate them on new ATR 72-600. This type of aircraft will help to provide the necessary conditions for a comfortable flight. Moreover, our common goal, the goal of New Uzbekistan, is to make flights affordable and develop domestic tourism of the country. It will undoubtedly be achieved through flights on ATR brand turboprop aircraft”.

Norman C.T. Liu, President & CEO of NAC, said: “We welcome Silk Avia, part of the Uzbekistan Airways Group, as a customer and are pleased to deliver the first new ATR 72-600 to the airline.”

Alexis Vidal, ATR’s SVP Commercial, said: “We warmly welcome Silk Avia to the ATR family. Their selection of the ATR 72-600 marks an important step as we begin operations in the promising market of Uzbekistan and wider Central Asia. Silk Avia will play a pioneering role in demonstrating the huge benefits affordable and low-emission regional aviation can deliver to this dynamic region. Our advanced ATR 72-600 turboprops are the ideal solution to connect communities and energise the national economy through their efficiency and flexibility. I look forward to following their progress and growth for many years to come.”

About Silk Avia

Silk Avia was established on 6 July 2021 and now is a subsidiary of Uzbekistan Airways Group. Silk Avia fleet consists of medium-haul passenger aircraft ATR 72-600 with a capacity of up to 72 people. These are economical and environmentally friendly aircraft that allow passengers to be transported safely and inexpensively over short distances. Our goal is to connect all regions of Uzbekistan, flying both to the most popular destinations and reviving long-forgotten routes.

About Nordic Aviation Capital

NAC is the global leader in regional aircraft leasing and is expanding into larger narrowbody aircraft leveraging our world class asset management platform.

About ATR

ATR is the world number one regional aircraft manufacturer with its ATR 42 and 72, the best-selling aircraft in the below 90-seat market segment. The unifying vision of the company is to accelerate sustainable connections for people, communities and businesses, no matter how remote. Flown by some 200 airlines in over 100 countries, ATR aircraft opened 150 new routes in 2023, facilitating the development of territories and enabling access to crucial services like healthcare and education. Thanks to ATR’s focus on continuous innovation and the intrinsic efficiency of the turboprop technology, ATR aircraft are the most advanced, versatile, cost-effective and lowest-emission regional aircraft on the market, emitting 45% less CO2 than similar-size regional jets. In January 2022, we flew the first ever commercial aircraft using 100% SAF in both engines. ATR is a joint-venture between Airbus and Leonardo.