On Wednesday, the sixth Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, purchased by Uzbekistan Airways, landed at the Tashkent airport. According to aviation tradition, the liner was greeted with a water salute from fire engine cannons.
The aircraft, which received registration number UK78706, made a direct flight lasting 12 hours and 9 minutes from Everett, Washington, USA, where the assembly plant of Boeing Corporation is located. It was piloted by a Uzbekistan Airways crew.
The aircraft was assembled in December 2019, its delivery was expected in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed for this year, a representative of Uzbekistan Airways said. The cabin has a capacity of 270 passengers, including 24 in business class.
As the commander of the aircraft Ruslan Almamedov told reporters, the crew arrived in the United States a week ago to conduct test flights and check all the mechanisms of the liner. Then, the aircraft acceptance procedure took place with the participation of the Uzbek Ambassador to the United States, Javlon Vakhabov.
“This was not an ordinary flight,” said Alan Melzer, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Uzbekistan. - The plane delivered medical equipment worth about US$ 3 million for the people of Karakalpakstan, designed to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Boeing donated $ 100,000 in cash for the same purpose. "
Uzbekistan Airways began commercial operation of Dreamliners in September 2016, becoming the first Boeing 787 customer in Central Asia. The first two liners arrived in 2016, the third in 2018, and two more in 2019.
"The range and fuel efficiency of the aircraft of the Boeing 787 Dreamlier family will allow Uzbekistan Airways to flexibly build its route network and prepare for future growth after the crisis in the civil aviation market ends," the airline said.
Recently, the President of Uzbekistan signed a decree on expedting the transformation processes of Uzbekistan Airways. The document provides for the return to the lessor and the sale of Boeing 757 aircraft, as well as the sale of Boeing 767. In addition, it is planned to lease two Airbus A321neo LR (long-haul) and three A321neo and re-fit four A320s to economy class.