Uzbekistan Airways has resumed taking delivery of Ilyushin Il-114-100s from Tashkent-based TAPO after overcoming currency and supplier problems.

The airline received the first of its planned fleet of 10 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127A-powered Il-114s in December 2002, but the rest have been held up.

"There were problems with the supply of Russian-made onboard systems," says Uzbekistan Airways commercial director Fakhridin Giyasov. This was caused by the non-convertible Uzbekistan currency and complicated Uzbeki export-import laws. The former was largely resolved earlier this year after Uzbekistan and Russia signed an inter-state strategic partnership agreement.

The airline's first 60-seater has been in service on the Tashkent-Bukhara route. The arrival of a second aircraft has enabled weekly frequencies to be increased to 26 flights and services to Karshi, Termez and Urgench to be added.

Giyasov says two more Il-114-100s will arrive this year, and the rest within three years.

Source: Flight International