Civil Aviation Day in Tajikistan Date in the current year: September 3, 2024

Civil Aviation Day in Tajikistan Tajikistani civil aviation employees, from pilots and flight attendants to air traffic controllers and airport personnel, celebrate their professional holiday on September 3. Civil Aviation Day in Tajikistan commemorates the first flight from Bukhara to Dushanbe, which took place on September 3, 1924.

Tajikistan is unique in that civil aviation began to develop here earlier than road and rail transport. Dushanbe became connected with other cities by air two years earlier than by road and give years earlier than by train. This can explained by the mountainous landscape of Tajikistan, which makes it difficult to construct roads and railways.

On September 3, 1924, a Junkers F.13 aircraft piloted by Rashidbek Akhriev and Peter Komarov landed in Dushanbe (then Stalinabad). The Bukhara — Stalinabad route became the second regular air route in the Soviet Union after Moscow — Nizhny Novgorod. The first airfield in Stalinabad was constructed the same year.

In 1927, the Tashkent — Samarkand — Termez — Stalinabad route was launched. In 1930, a first class airport was built in Stalinabad, and a year later regular flights to Gharm, Danghara, Kulob and Pyanj began to operate from the capital. In 1932, a flight to Khorugh was launched, lasting for only 2.5 hours. Before that, it had taken 20 hours on horseback to get from Khorough to Stalinabad, or vice versa.

The Tajik Territorial Department of Civil Air Fleet was created in 1937, the Air Traffic Control Service in 1945, and the state airline, today known as Tajik Air, was officially founded in 1949.

During the Soviet era, air transport was one of the most important branches of the economy of the Tajik SSR, because for residents of remote settlements in the mountains, traveling by plane was the only way to get to the capital. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing civil war threw the development of Tajikistani civil aviation off course, and it didn’t begin to recuperate until the 2000s.

Until the mid-2000s, Tajik Air was the only airline in Tajikistan. However, three more airlines were founded after the market had been deregulated: Asia Airways, Somon Air, and East Air. East Air ceased operations in 2014, and Asia Airways in 2015, after a cargo plane operated by a logistic company based in South Sudan but belonging to Asia Airways crashed in South Sudan.

As of 2021, Tajikistan had two operating airlines — Tajik Air and Somon Air. They carried out both domestic and international flights (to Almaty, Bishkek, Delhi, Dubai, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Saint Petersburg, Samarkand, Surgut, Tehran, Ürümqi, and Yekaterinburg). Unfortunately, the number and frequency of flights had been significantly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the occasion of Civil Aviation Day, Tajikistani air carriers organize special events to honor their employees, who are congratulated with their professional holiday and awarded with certificates for their contribution to the development of civil aviation in Tajikistan.

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