The commercial director of Tajikistan's Somon Air company, Alisher Rustamov, has been fired over the cancelation of the long-awaited return of regular passenger service between Dushanbe and the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.
Somon Air said on February 21 that Rustamov and several of his subordinates were fired after an internal investigation revealed the company had failed to provide the Tashkent airport with the necessary documents to resume the service as of February 20.
The February 20 flight from Dushanbe to Tashkent by Somon Air was meant to highlight the restoration of air service between the two countries, but it was canceled at the last moment. Somon Air officials announce the Tashkent airport had canceled the flight.
Somon Air said on February 21 that the service will begin "in the nearest future."
With the exception of a test-flight on February 10, there have been no direct civilian flights between the two capitals since 1992.
Relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been strained for years over disputes that include transit routes, border security, and the sharing of water resources.
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyaev has promised to improve ties with neighboring Central Asian states since his election in December 2016.