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Aerospace Resource Guide: Republic of Tajikistan

 

Republic of Tajikistan Statistics

Summary
Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Current Demand

Main Competitors

Best Prospects
Barriers

Trade Events/Associations

CS Contact

Capital: Dushanbe
Population:
8.1 million
GDP USD
: USD 8.5 billion
Currency:
Somoni
Language
: Tajik, Russian

Summary

Tajikistan is a small aviation market in Central Asia. Three major airline companies are active in the domestic market: state owned “Tajik Air;” and the privately owned “Somon Air;” and “East Air.” Somon Air operates six Boeing aircraft. Tajik Air has a fleet of 36 planes on paper, but operates only 12. The remaining 24 aircraft (TU-134s and Yak-40s) have been put into long term storage. The active Tajik Air fleet consists of the following aircraft: one Boeing 757-200; one Boeing 737-500; one Boeing 737-300; one TU-154M; two AN-28s; one AN-26; one MA-60 and three Mi-8MTV helicopters. Privately owned “East Air” operates two Boeing 737 and two Airbus A320 aircraft. Together, the three carriers transported 847,020 passengers in 2012, 78% of whom flew between Tajikistan and Russia.

The Civil Aviation Department within Tajikistan’s Ministry of Transport has yet to resolve internal management issues and establish best-practices. It is therefore not considered a capable regulator of the country’s airline industry. None of the airlines based in Tajikistan have become an International Air Transport Association (IATA) member, but Somon Air is implementing a plan to meet IATA standards.

Tajikistan has airports in four major cities which are capable of servicing Boeing 737 planes: Dushanbe, Khujand, Kulob, and Qurghon-Teppa. Several smaller airports exist, but have not been operational since 1991. All airports have one runway. Dushanbe International airport is capable of operating both passenger and cargo planes.

Market Entry


The aviation market is tightly controlled by Tajik businessmen politically connected to the government. It is important to have a well-connected local partner for effective marketing, sales, and distribution in Tajikistan.

Current Market Trends


To overcome the country’s geographic isolation and poor ground transportation infrastructure, the Tajik government has prioritized the establishment of new international routes and domestic flights. In addition to the three major airlines based in Tajikistan, nineteen foreign airline companies are operating in Tajikistan as of 2014, bringing the number of carriers to 22. These foreign carriers are State Transport Company Rossiya (GTK Russia), Siberia Airlines (aka S7), Orenburg Airlines, Ural Airlines, Tatarstan Airlines, UTAir Aviation, Taimyr Air Company, Yakutia Airlines, Airline Donavia, Vim Avia Airlines, Avia Traffic Company, Air Astana (Kazakhstan), Turkish Airlines, Kam Air (Afghanistan), China Southern Airlines, Osmon Air (Iran), Air Arabia, Ukraine International Airlines, and FlyDubai (UAE).

Somon Air began operating in 2008. Since October 2012, Somon Air has cut costs, improved services, adopted international Customer Relationship Management standards, and established a staff training program. Somon Air has Multilateral Interline Traffic agreements with Turkish Airlines, Etihad Airways, Safi Airways, and Nas Air. Somon Air’s market share has grown steadily since its founding, reaching 28% in 2013. It now operates flights on 24 routes. National airline Tajik Air accounts for 18% of the market in Tajikistan, having steadily lost market share to Somon Air. Tajik Air has a codeshare agreement with airBaltic and operates flights on 19 routes. East Air was founded in 2007 and operates flights on 10 routes.

The Tajik government is concentrating its limited resources on projects to upgrade airports to meet international air traffic standards. The Dushanbe International Airport extension project is budgeted at $37 million to enhance the runway and apron, and upgrade terminal buildings to handle large, modern aircraft. The Khujand Airport rehabilitation project is budgeted at $7.2 million to rehabilitate an emergency runway, install high-intensity lights, and modernize radio and ground control safety equipment, but construction has not yet begun. The Tajik government also plans to upgrade the small airport in Danghara.

Current Demand


Tajikistan’s aviation infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped compared to markets in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, or Turkmenistan. With three main airline companies and four major airports, there is a demand for the full range of aviation equipment. The aviation market requires aircraft components, software, aviation fuel (a sector monopolized by Russia’s GazProm), ground support equipment, and avionics and air navigation equipment. Since 2008, annual demand for air industry services, equipment, and spare parts for planes has varied between $4 to $10 million, depending on where customers are in their inventory lifecycle.

Competitors


Boeing dominates the internal aircraft market of Tajikistan, but airlines have been in talks with representatives of Europe’s Airbus, Russia’s Suhoi Superjet, and China’s MA-60 manufacturers. Somon Air has a $2.5 million annual contract with the A.J. Walters firm for parts and maintenance.

Best Prospects


Somon Air hopes to launch an expansion program beginning in 2014, widening its fleet from six aircraft to as many as 24 in the coming decade, and will therefore be in the market for new aircraft.

Barriers


The primary barriers to market entry are the need for political connections and the potential customers’ lack of financial resources for capital investment.

Trade Events/Associations


American-Tajik Chamber of Commerce
www.amcham.tj


U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information:


Mr. Eric Salzman
Economic Officer
SalzmanEA@state.gov
+992 37 229 2504


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