Tajikistan has reportedly resumed regular air traffic with Kazakhstan and Afghanistan following the improvement of the coronavirus situation. 

“Due to the improvement of the coronavirus situation in the country and on the basis of government’s resolution, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response (Standing Committee) has made a decision to allow resumption of regular flights to Kazakhstan and Afghanistan,” Ikrom Subhonzoda, Director of the Civil Aviation Agency under the Government of Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.  

According to him, the regular flights from Dushanbe to Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Kabul (Afghanistan) will be resumed in the near future.

“Tajikistan’s Somon Air and Kazakhstan’s Air Astans will operate flights on the Dushanbe-Almaty route and Somon Air and Afghanistan’s Kam Air will operate flights on the Dushanbe-Kabul route,” said Subhonzoda.  “Each of these airlines will operate flights on the mentioned routes once a week.  In the future, the number of flights will increase.” 

He also emphasized that during a working meeting, the Civil Aviation Agency demanded that domestic and foreign airlines not unreasonably increase the cost of air tickets.

Passengers on both are required to hold a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR-based test, made no earlier than 72 hours (3 days) prior to departure. 

Recall, Tajik authorities have suspended all international flights.  Tajikistan closed all its airports at midnight on March 19-20 due to the coronavirus concerns.  Only charters flights to repatriate Tajik nationals stranded in foreign countries due to the coronavirus crisis have been operated so far.    

To-date, Tajikistan has resumed regular flights to Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Istanbul (Turkey) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan).

Somon Air is the first private airline in Tajikistan with an office headquartered in Dushanbe.  The airline operations are based at Dushanbe International Airport.  The airline started operating on February 5, 2008 with regular flights to Moscow and Dubai.  Somon Air also serves as the official carrier of President of the Republic of Tajikistan and other Tajikistan high-ranking officials.

Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty.  It operates scheduled, domestic and international services on 64 routes from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its secondary hub, Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport.  It is a joint venture between Kazakhstan's sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (51%), and BAE Systems PLC (49%).  It was incorporated in October 2001 and started commercial flights on May 15, 2002.

Kam Air is an airline headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan.  It operates scheduled domestic passenger services and regional international services. Hamid Kazai International Airport serves as its main hub.  It is the first private commercial airline established in Afghanistan by the owner and founder of Kamgar Group, Mr. Zamarai Kamgar, a renowned and respected Afghan businessman.