Uzbekistan Start Up HUMO Air Began Operation

A new low-cost airline based in Uzbekistan called HUMO Air has announced its readiness to launch flights. HUMO Air will begin operations with Airbus A320 to four domestic destinations, starting with the first flight on December 15, 2023. The airline aims to become a key player in the Uzbekistan aviation industry by offering reasonably priced flights to destinations not served by other Uzbek airlines. Swiss private equity firm Valley Road Capital Humo S.A acquired the airline for $2.4 million last year. Previously, the airline operated as an air taxi operator. In January 2020, the airline was established by Uzbekistan’s national airline Uzbekistan Airways, and it acquired that carrier’s aging fleet of 43 Antonov An-2 aircraft. The carrier received its AOC in May 2020 and launched services in October 2020. The airline’s daily services will connect the capital city of Tashkent to Urgench, Samarkand, Karshi, and Nukus, with more destinations to be added as more aircraft are added to the fleet. HUMO Air plans to start international flights to Almaty, Istanbul, and Dubai in 2024. 


At a launch event held by the airline in October 2023, HUMO Air announced its plan to launch an all-Airbus fleet of A320 and A321 aircraft. The initial fleet will include four aircraft, rising to 18 planes by the end of 2025. A spokesperson for the airline said that HUMO Air “is poised to transform domestic travel, making it not only more accessible but also more affordable for both Uzbek citizens and international visitors.” HUMO Air has planned its daily schedule around the likely needs of its potential customer base. Flights from Tashkent to Nukus depart at 05:50 local time, Urgench at 17:20, Samarkand at 14:20, and Karshi at 10:15. 


Andrey Chernyaev, Chairman of Humo Air, said, “We are pleased to open sales and announce the start of flights from Tashkent’s modern airport to the most popular destinations for Uzbekistan citizens and international guests. Our goal is to increase passenger traffic, boost footfall, and make traveling around the country more affordable, easy, and comfortable. Additionally, we will fly to regional and international countries soon. Humo Air will offer convenient and comfortable direct flights at affordable prices.” 

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The airline recently took delivery of its first aircraft, currently registered LZ-MDI, in full HUMO Air colors. The aircraft, previously flown by Bulgarian charter airline Fly2Sky, is 15 years old and was originally delivered to South American airline TACA International Airlines before being transferred to Avianca in Colombia. HUMO Air will offer a single-class 180-seat economy layout on all its aircraft to maximize passenger capacity. As with other low-cost carriers worldwide, the airline will fully exploit ancillary revenue streams by charging for large and hold luggage, meals, and seat selection services. HUMO Air plans to complete 1,000 flights and fly 200,000 passengers between December 2023 and March 2024. Reservations for the airline’s initial services opened earlier in December 2023, and although the first flight is due to take off on December 15, the carrier is reportedly yet to secure its commercial passenger services permit, although it is already certificated for Special Aviation Operations by the Uzbek civil aviation regulator. The Uzbek aviation industry has become increasingly crowded in recent months, with flag carrier Uzbekistan Airways being the dominant market leader. Another newcomer, Air Samarkand, intends to launch charter and scheduled flights to destinations in Turkey, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China in the coming weeks. Additionally, low-cost carrier Centrum Air, another low-cost carrier with the same model as HUMO Air, currently operates a fleet of three Airbus A320s serving domestic Uzbek destinations and plans to have a fleet of 100 aircraft by 2026. Like HUMO Air, it is also based at Tashkent International Airport (TAS) and operates international services to a range of destinations in the Middle East and India.

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