DUSHANBE, January 21, 2011, Asia-Plus  -- Debts of Tajik national air carrier, Tajik Air, to the companies that were, until recently, part of it will be restructured, the Tajik Air deputy director general, Valery Sharipov, announced at a news conference in Dushanbe on January 20.

Government’s decree on regulation of rates of fees for airport, ground and air navigation services for Tajik Air provides for restructuring of Tajik Air’s debts to Dushanbe International Airport, Khujand International Airport and Tajikaeronavigatsiya (air navigation service), Sharipov said.

According to him, Tajik Airs debt in an amount of 27 million somoni to Dushanbe International Airport will be frozen for seven years, the 14 million somoni debt to Khujand International Airport will be frozen for five years and the 3 million somoni debt to Tajikaeronavigatsiya will be frozen for three years.

The Tajik Air administration considers that the national air carrier’s debts have been accrued due to overrated service fees set by the airports and the air navigation company.

“Service fees set by them are overrated even as compared with Russian airports,” said Sharipov, “Thus, carrying passengers by bus to aircraft in Surgut, Russia costs US$29.00, while in Dushanbe, this service costs US$50.00, aircraft leading in Surgut costs US$11.00, while in Dushanbe US$50.00.  Carrying air crew members to plane in Dushanbe costs US$50.00, while in Surgut US$9.00, in Samara US$17.00, and in Novosibirsk US$28.00.”

“Moreover, the Dushanbe airport invoices us for treatment of toilet at AN-28, while this type of aircraft does not have toilet,” the deputy director general noted.

“In addition to all this, we have many unprofitable flights; one of them is the Dushanbe-Khorog flight, which we operate at a loss but in behalf of the state and we pay all airport and air navigation service fees,” said Sharipov, “Why we can work in behalf of the state, while others don’t?”

We will recall that until 2008, Tajik Air had an absolute monopoly in Tajikistan’s air transport, owning all planes, airports, and airport and flight services.  As a result of restructuring, Tajik Air was split up into several separate companies.