Samarkand International Airport Surpasses One Million Passengers, Setting New Record

In a significant development for Uzbekistan’s aviation sector, Air Marakanda, the management company overseeing operations at Samarkand International Airport, has reported a remarkable increase in passenger traffic.

This year, the airport recorded a milestone of one million passengers, a substantial rise from the 495,000 passengers it welcomed in 2022. This achievement not only underscores Samarkand’s growing appeal as a tourist destination but also reflects the effective growth strategy implemented by Air Marakanda.

Samarkand Airport
Samarkand Airport

In a notable event marking this achievement, the millionth passenger, Mr. Dilshod Rakhimov from Tajikistan, was warmly received. Mr. Rakhimov, who was traveling on Wizz Air flight 5W7164 to Abu Dhabi, was greeted by Dmitry Martynenko, Air Marakanda’s Commercial Director. To commemorate this occasion, Mr. Rakhimov was presented with souvenirs and a voucher for the airport’s VIP lounge by Air Marakanda, along with a voucher from Wizz Air to cover his flight cost to Abu Dhabi.

Samarkand Airport Achieves Top Ranking in European Passenger Growth

The impressive milestone comes less than two years after Air Marakanda opened the new terminal at Samarkand International Airport, a project notable for being Uzbekistan’s first aviation venture based on a public-private partnership. This modern and architecturally striking terminal has significantly contributed to the airport’s operational success.

In another noteworthy achievement, Samarkand International Airport has been ranked among the top five largest airports in Europe for passenger traffic growth. This ranking, provided by the European branch of the International Airports Council (ACI Europe), placed the airport in 4th position in the category of regional and small airports, based on data collected up to October.

Samarkand Terminal's Impressive Standing in World Airport Awards

Air Marakanda, which handles ground operations and management at the new terminal, has been instrumental in this success. The company’s role in this public-private partnership represents a pioneering step in the Republic of Uzbekistan’s aviation industry. The new terminal at Samarkand has consistently ranked within the top ten in the Central Asian region of the World Airport Awards by SKYTRAX, further highlighting its operational excellence and service quality.

Anton Khojayan, CEO of Air Marakanda, said: “Serving our first millionth passenger has capped off a landmark year for our company. We opened new destinations in cooperation with partner airlines, increased the frequency of flights of existing air carriers, and developed Samarkand’s airport infrastructure – all of which led us to the cherished figure of one million. We are especially pleased today to congratulate a record-breaking passenger and end the year with a celebration. We are eager to push our growth trajectory even higher, and I am confident that next year we will achieve even better results.”

Johan Eidhagen, Managing Director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, said“We are delighted to celebrate one year of operations to Samarkand and our contribution in supporting the airport to reach the significant milestone of one million passengers. Wizz Air has introduced a new era of ultra-low-cost travel to the market, unlocked affordable travel opportunities, and carried more than 100,000 passengers to and from Samarkand. This stands as a testimonial on how we can stimulate more demand through our model by making travel accessible for everyone.”

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