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Russian Airline Receives Permit To Fly To Tajik Destinations Amid Pandemic

Azur Air has not flown to Tajikistan in the past, a Tajik official says.
Azur Air has not flown to Tajikistan in the past, a Tajik official says.

DUSHANBE -- Russia's Rosaviatsia aviation agency has issued a permit to the Azur Air company to operate flights to Tajikistan amid restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ziyodullo Sharifov of the Tajik Civil Aviation Agency told RFE/RL on December 7 that Russia's Azur Air had received permission from Rosaviatsia last week to operate flights to various international destinations, including two flights weekly to Tajikistan’s second-largest city, Khujand, from the city of Irkutsk in Siberia.

According to Sharifov, Azur Air had not officially asked for permission yet from Tajikistan's Coronavirus Task Center to begin flights, and therefore it was not clear when the flights would commence. Sharifov said that Azur Air had not previously flown to Tajikistan before.

Regular flights between Tajikistan and Russian cities have been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Currently, Tajikistan's Somoni Air conducts five charter flights per day to different Russian cities from Dushanbe, the Tajik capital.

Last month, Dushanbe allowed two Russian companies -- UTair and Ural Airlines -- to operate limited charter flights from Tajikistan to Moscow and six other Russian cities.