DUSHANBE, October 25, Asia-Plus - Tajik national air carrier TajikAir intends to lease two Boeing 737-700 or -800 in the beginning of the next year, the TajikAir technical director Valery Sharipov told a news conference in Dushanbe today. 

According to him, everything depends on work of the US consulting company Ernst & Young, which should define preparedness of the Dushanbe airport for receiving planes of such type.  “The company should define which western type airplanes are the most profitable for Tajik air company,” said Sharipov, “Thus, analysis conducted by experts from the company has shown that use of the A320s will be unprofitable and therefore we have chosen Boeing,” the TajikAir technical director said, noting that they have not yet selected company to conclude a contract on leasing the aircraft.        

Sharipov noted that a loan of US$5 million provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) last year is not aimed to cover expenses related to the TajikAir plan to lease the western type airplanes.  “These funds are intended for improving air traffic control and air navigation systems, training personnel, as well as funding work of the Ernst & Young company,” said the TajikAir official, “As far as leasing expenses are concerned, they will be covered by our company itself.” 

At present Tajik national carrier has 23 airplanes of various types and four helicopters Mi-8.  The majority of them will outlive their usefulness in 2015.