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With the start of flights to Samarkand, flydubai grows its network in Central Asia to seven points served by a fleet of 68 Boeing 737 aircraft. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai-based carrier flydubai celebrated its inaugural service to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, becoming the first UAE carrier to operate direct flights from Dubai.

The airline will operate a twice-weekly service from Dubai International (DXB) to Samarkand International Airport (SKD). With the start of flights to Samarkand, flydubai grows its network in Central Asia to seven points served by a fleet of 68 Boeing 737 aircraft.

The inaugural flight landed at SKD to a traditional water cannon salute. Senior local officials including Gairat Nematov, General Director at Air Marakanda, welcomed the delegation led by Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO at flydubai.

“flydubai is committed to opening up underserved markets and strengthening the links from Dubai and the UAE with the region. We are excited to see our network in Uzbekistan grow with the launch of flights to Samarkand. Since 2019 when we first started operations to Uzbekistan, we have seen sustainable demand and we are confident that the launch of our second destination will provide our passengers with more reliable and convenient options for travel,” Al Ghaith said.

Gairat Nematov, General Director of the airport management company, Air Marakanda LLC, said: “The opening of a new route connecting Samarkand to Dubai will have a positive impact on the entire Samarkand region. Cooperating with our valued partners at flydubai, we have established a direct link between Samarkand International Airport and one of the biggest and most vibrant economic hubs in the world. Air Marakanda is very glad to welcome the new airline and we are committed to provide passengers to and from Dubai with a best-in-class airport experience.”

On September 24, the airline also launches its twice-weekly service to Namangan, growing its network in the market to three destinations served with a total of 10 weekly flights.