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$44 million debt. Is Tajik Air ready to resume flights?

The debts of the state airline Tajik Air currently amount to 449 million somoni ($44 million). The national air carrier of Tajikistan has not operated regular flights since September 2020 due to technical and financial problems, many of its employees are on forced leave.

found that Tajik Air owes more than $40 million to tax authorities, banks, airports and other technical services. At that time, there was no reaction from the authorities to this publication. The head of Tojik Air, Parviz Shodmonzoda, at a press conference in Dushanbe on February 1, said that the issue of the airline’s bankruptcy is not on the agenda at the moment.

Tajik Air is going to lease two Airbus aircraft from Turkey and hopes to resume flights, Shodmonzoda said.

“We are waiting for the decision of the Supervisory Board on the issue of resuming flights. If it approves, the planes will be delivered to Dushanbe and flights will resume. There is hope that the board will approve. When flights begin, the issue of the company’s debt will also be discussed,” the head of the national air carrier said.

According to him, Tajik Air intends to lease two used aircraft from the Turkish company Southwind. The proposal to resume flights after leasing the aircraft has been submitted to Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, who chairs the Supervisory Board set up by the government in 2018 to improve the airline’s financial health.

Tajik Air has been experiencing technical and financial difficulties for several years now. It, in particular, must pay $20 million to the Lithuanian leasing company Skyroad Leasing. Litigation with this company has been going on for several years. The Execution Service under the government of Tajikistan in July last year announced the arrest of Tajik Air’s bank accounts due to the “Skyroad Leasing case.”

Parviz Shodmonzoda said on February 1 that currently 135 out of 205 employees of the airline are on forced leave.

Tajik analyst Abdumannon Sheraliev believes that Tajik Air is not destined to get back on its feet as long as it remains a state-owned airline. According to him, another Tajik airline, Somon Air, does not need competitors in the domestic air transportation market.

“Secondly, the flights of Tajik Air liners will require more and more funds every year, which the airline does not currently have. And thirdly, almost all the technical workers of the national air carrier went to work in other, mainly foreign airlines, and it is not so easy to return them back to Tajik Air,” added Abdumannon Sheraliev.

Radio Ozodi’s investigation revealed that Somon Air benefited from the “interrupted flight” of the national air carrier. Most of those who contributed to the deepening of the crisis in Tajik Air are somehow connected with the owner of Somon Air, the brother-in-law of the President of Tajikistan Hasan Asadullozoda and his entourage.

By the way, in one of the US diplomatic dispatches published on the Wikileaks website, Somon Air is named as a company controlled by Emomali Rahmon himself. This letter, dated September 30, 2009, stated that Somon Air plans to replace Tajik Air, which is facing bankruptcy, in the air transportation market.

source: rus.ozodi

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