Air Marakanda and China Southern Airlines have successfully opened direct flights between Samarkand and Urumqi (China) for the first time in history

Air Marakanda company has partnered with China Southern Airlines, making the first-ever flight to Urumqi in history. This cooperation introduces Air Marakanda as the first air carrier to operate flights from China to Samarkand.

The ceremony dedicated to opening the flight to Urumqi has taken place at the international terminal of Samarkand Airport, where zones for thematic photo, tea ceremony with sweet treats, and calligraphic inscriptions in Chinese on Samarkand mulberry paper, organized for the passengers of the first flight to Urumqi.

The opening ceremony has been attended by the management of Air Marakanda and China Southern Airlines jointly with Rustam Kobilov, the head of the Samarkand Regional Department of the Agency for the Development of Public Service under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The first aircraft has been met by a traditional greeting water arch at the Samarkand airport, and the first passengers arriving from China welcomed by musicians playing the karnay and surnay.

As part of the event, a press conference has been also held with the participation of Anton Khodzhayan, the CEO of Air Marakanda, Artem Pak, the Deputy CEO for Commerce of Air Marakanda, Rustam Kobilov, the head of the Samarkand regional branch of the Agency for Development of Public Service under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and Shen Yi, the CEO of the China Southern Airlines representative office in Tashkent. During the press conference, the participants have highlighted the potential of the newly opened direct flights between Samarkand and Urumqi, and discussed further perspective of development of tourism and trade between the two countries. In addition, the participants have announced further joint plans for opening new flights from China to Samarkand in the near future.

Opening direct flights from China to Samarkand has become a logical continuation of the historic Great Silk Road, founded many centuries ago.

With this introduction, it is now possible to fly to the political, economic, and cultural center of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China from Samarkand every Monday at 1:30 AM. The return flight from Urumqi International Airport to Samarkand is scheduled for 11:20 PM on Sundays. All flights shall be operated by modern Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two-class layout including business and economy classes.

Further information

Urumqi is the furthest major city from the sea in the world. Urumqi airport route network covers 69 domestic destinations, allowing passengers to visit the largest business, industrial, and tourist cities in China.

China Southern Airlines, the largest air carrier in China, by fleet in Asia, operates over 850 passenger and cargo aircraft, including Boeing B787, B777, B747, and B737, as well as Airbus A330, A321, A320, A319, and ARJ21. China Southern operates more than 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries and regions worldwide.