MOSCOW, November 8. /TASS/. Russia and Tajikistan have reached an agreement to continue to develop air service between the two countries in full volume, a spokesman for the Russian Transport Ministry told TASS on Monday.
"Consultations between Russian and Tajikistani air traffic authorities have finished. The sides reached an agreement to continue to develop air service between the two countries in full volume," he said.
The spokesman confirmed that the Tajikistani side has agreed with Russian air companies on flights from Moscow’s new airport Zhukovsky.
Earlier, Tajikistan’s authorities refused to receive flights performed by Russian air companies from the Zhukovsky airport saying the airport belongs to the Moscow airport hub whereas under the Russian law the Zhukovsky airport is part of the Ramensky hub (Moscow Region).
Thus, Tajikistan’s Embassy councillor Sarvat Bakhti told TASS last week that the Tajikistani side deems it necessary to sign a new agreement on air service with Russia and suggests the sides meet in Dushanbe on November 24 to discuss it.
The Russian Transport Ministry said earlier that Russia would not soften its position until Tajikistan agrees on flights by Russian air companies in full volume. The ministry did not rule out Russia’s suspension of air service with Tajikistan from November 8 unless the Tajikistani side changes its position on the Zhukovsky airport.
Currently, regular flights to Tajikistan are performed from 15 Russian cities but the majority of flights are made from the Moscow airport hub. Regular flights to Russia are performed from four airports in Tajikistan, namely from Dushanbe (to 13 Russian cities), from Khudzhand (to 15 Russian cities), and from Kurga-Tyube and Kulyab (only to Moscow).
Air service between the two countries is operated by Tajikistani air companies Tajik Air and Somon Air, and Russia’s air carriers Ural Airlines, Rossiya, Sibir (S7), and UTair. In August 2016, Russian air transport authority Rosaviatsiya issued permissions to Russian air companies Vim Airlines, Yamal and Ural Airlines to perform flights to Dushanbe from the Zhukovsky airport but no such permission was issued by the Tajikistani side.