DUSHANBE, September 30, 2014, Asia-Plus -- Asian Express Airlines has launched flights from Dushanbe to the Russian city of Astrakhan.

The company operated the first flight from Dushanbe to Astrakhan on September 29.   The flight will be operated once a fortnight and the ticket for the flight will cost 1,400 somoni. 

“Currently, Asian Express Airlines is leasing  aircraft from the Tajik national air carrier, Tajik Air.  Our planes need rehabilitation because they have not been operated for a long time,” an official source at Asian Express Airlines told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, the company plans to launch air routes from the Tajik northern city of Khujand to the Russian cities of Barnaul and Tomsk in the near future.  

Asian Express Airlines was registered in Tajikistan in early 2013 when it then received a license for flight operations. However, until now, the airline has not operated its flights under its own brand but it gave its aircraft in leasing to Tajik domestic airlines.

Asian Express Airlines is a part of the Contact Groups Holding of Tajikistan JSC, which also includes a Contact Investment Bank and the central bus station in Dushanbe called Asian Express Terminal.

The Asian Express Airlines acquired medium-liners, such as BAe Avro RJ85 and RJ-100 and Airbus A-320 for long-haul flights to Russia, Europe and the UAE.

At present, two private air companies, Somon Air and East Air, are  registered in Tajikistan and they are operated and run by foreign nationals. There is  one national airline, Tajik Air. 

In addition, airlines registered in other countries also operate their flights to Tajikistan, as they are engaged in air passenger transportations on a parity basis.

Tajikistan has also three companies registered, as  air cargo, Khatlon Air, Asia Express and Par Air.