Tashkent is home to many museums and Soviet-era architecture. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE carrier flydubai has announced a new direct service from Dubai to the capital city of Uzbekistan.

The budget airline said that starting from March 11, 2019, it will commence five flights weekly to Tashkent, to serve passengers to and from one of the top destinations in ex-Soviet Central Asia.

With the new service, flydubai will become the first airline headquartered in the UAE to operate direct flights to Uzbekistan, according to the airline in a statement.

The airline also said it plans to make the flights daily from Mary 31, 2019. It will be deploying its brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on the route, and the flight will depart from Terminal 3 at Dubai International.

“We are pleased to become the first UAE national carrier to offer direct flights to Tashkent, strengthening ties between the UAE and Uzbekistan via these new direct air links,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive officer of flydubai.

“This creates opportunities for further development of tourism and trade flows and is in line with our commitment to opening up previously underserved markets and offering more travel options to fly to Dubai and beyond.”

Uzbekistan is considered to be one of Central Asia’s leading food producers and exporters. Non-oil trade between Dubai and Uzbekistan amounted to Dh976 million in the first nine months of 2016, according to the data from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Also, as of 2016, there were more than 300 Uzbek companies registered with Dubai chamber.

The plane that will be used on the Dubai-Tashkent route features a flat bed in Business class, allowing passengers to sleep comfortably during the flight.

The Economy class section will be equipped with Recaro aircraft seating, designed to optimise cabin space and passenger comfort.

“We hope the new route will be a popular choice for passengers travelling from Dubai and the [Gulf Cooperation Council] looking for new hidden gems within a short flying distance from our hub in Dubai,” added Jeyhun Efendi, senior vice president, commercial operations and e-commerce for flydubai.

Flydubai had earlier launched flights to other destinations in Central Asia, including Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Dushanbe in Tajikistan, Almaty, Astana and Shymkent in Kazakhstan.