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Uzbekistan’s Aviation reforms set Uzbek Airways on a sound pathway for becoming a market leader in the Central Asian region

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, February 27, 2019 – In connection with the recently published media articles referring to the World Bank Group’s report, the Private Sector Diagnostic for Uzbekistan, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, informs that the report covers the period April 2018 to June 2018.
The purpose of the diagnostic is to provide an objective analysis of several sectors that show promising potential and to provide recommendations on how to realize their potential. A draft report was presented to the Government of Uzbekistan in September 2018.
Following discussions between the Government and the World Bank Group, and consistent with the country’s reform priorities, the Government of Uzbekistan initiated a program of modernization of the aviation sector, as set forth in the Presidential Decree of November 27, 2018. As a result, the National Air Company is being reorganized, separating airline and airport operations into independent corporations.
Ultimately, the reform is expected to boost economic growth, improve the efficiency of the concerned state-owned enterprises, increase competition, and ensure high standards of safety.
With the support of the World Bank Group, Uzbekistan Airways is currently developing a business plan, with the aim of becoming a reputable market leader in Central Asia. With this objective in mind, today the company is focusing on expanding revenue streams and reducing its costs base.
At present, Uzbekistan Airways continues to service all its debt and meet contractual obligations in full and in a timely manner. Its short-term debt repayment capacity is in line with global industry averages, an indicator of an airline’s ability to sustain normal operations in the immediate future.
In August 2018, the Government of Uzbekistan and the World Bank Group signed an advisory services agreement to support the modernization of the aviation sector of Uzbekistan.  The completion of joint activities under this agreement is scheduled for June 2019. Thus, the outcomes of this work will only be known and presented to the Government of Uzbekistan in June 2019.  
Furthermore, today Uzbekistan has air service agreements with over 50 countries, whose designated air carriers can operate flights between two countries based on bilaterally agreed terms. Besides, the access for foreign air carriers’ flights is issued by the Civil Aviation Agency, an independent entity. With the formation of the Ministry of Transport, the national policy function with regards to air service agreements will be transferred to the new institution.
The World Bank Group stands ready to continue supporting Uzbekistan’s aviation sector modernization efforts.