Today it is difficult for us to imagine traveling without modern transport. It is one of the most important and driving components of tourism. When traveling long distances, civil aviation is of course in greatest demand.

Due to its favorable geographical position, Uzbekistan in the past functioned as a transit country at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road. And today, the international airports of Uzbekistan function as transit airports connecting western and eastern countries. Moreover, Uzbekistan is a country that welcomes foreign investors, businessmen and tourists from all over the world.

In the annals of New Uzbekistan there are many events that determined the present day and the future of the country, as well as the development of the tourism potential of the republic.

One such event was the creation in 1992 of the National Airline. Over a 30-year period, the Uzbekistan Airways brand has become known and recognized throughout the world as a stable, safe and reliable air carrier.

On August 15, 2019, on the basis of the National Air Company “Uzbekistan Airways”, by the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the joint-stock company “Uzbekistan Airports” was established.

Today JSC “Uzbekistan Airports” acts as a single executive and connecting body of all regional airports of the republic: “Tashkent International Airport” named after Islam Karimov LLC, “Samarkand International Airport” LLC, “Bukhara International Airport” LLC, “International Airport” LLC Navoi, Andijan International Airport named after Muhammad Babur, Namangan International Airport LLC, Fergana International Airport LLC, Nukus International Airport LLC, Urgench International Airport LLC, International Airport LLC Termez Airport, Karshi International Airport LLC.

Starting from 2020, a course has been set for de-monopolization of the aviation market in Uzbekistan.

According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated November 27, 2018 No. UP-5584 “On measures to radically improve the civil aviation of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, it is planned to reform the aviation industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

For these purposes, through reorganization on the basis of the National Airline, the joint-stock companies Uzbekistan Airways and Uzbekistan Airports were created. State unitary enterprises that are part of the airline are transformed into limited liability companies (LLC). Uzbekistan Helicopters LLC was established on the basis of the State Unitary Enterprise “Airline for Special Aviation Works (SAR)”, and the Uzaeronavigatsia Center was transferred to the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Several private airlines have started operations in the country. Among them are Qanot Sharq Airlines, SilkJet, Silk Avia, Humo Air, Panorama Airways, etc.

Established as the first private airline in Uzbekistan, Qanot Sharq is led by a team of highly qualified aviation industry professionals with over 20 years of experience in the industry. The airline will operate flights from several regional airports in Uzbekistan, providing regular air transportation to international destinations such as Istanbul, Ankara (Turkey), Dubai (UAE), Jeddah, Medina (Saudi Arabia), Moscow, St. Petersburg (Russian Federation) and Almaty (Kazakhstan).

Since the end of 2019, an “open skies” regime has been introduced in Uzbekistan. From October 1, 2019, the regime was introduced at the international airports of Bukhara, Nukus, Karshi and Termez with the fifth degree of freedom, which allows foreign companies to fly from Uzbekistan not only to their country of registration. And since August 2020, open skies have been introduced at all regional airports of the republic.

The “Open Skies” mode was introduced from August 1 for a period of two years until the end of the “Winter 2022/2023” season with the possibility of prolonging or changing conditions at the airports of Karshi, Nukus, Termez, Bukhara, Navoi, Urgench, Andijan, Fergana, Namangan and Samarkand from application of the fifth freedom of air. This means the right to take on and offload passengers, mail and cargo to or from a third country.

From January 2, 2023, at the airports of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Fergana and Urgench, the grand opening of Tax Free counters, established by the State Tax Committee and started their work in test mode, took place.

The Tax Free system implies the return to foreign citizens of the amounts of VAT paid by them when purchasing certain types of goods from entrepreneurs engaged in retail trade in Uzbekistan. The list of goods covered by cashback is specified in the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated November 8, 2022. These are souvenirs, nuts, fruits and dried fruits, leather and fur products, carpets, textiles and much more.

To receive a VAT refund, you need to register in the Soliq mobile application and scan receipts for your purchases in it. When departing at the airport, the passenger needs to check in for the flight, and then go to the Tax Free counter, presenting the boarding pass and the goods themselves. The registered goods can be left for transportation in hand luggage, or you can return to the check-in counter and check in your luggage.

The total amount of the purchase of goods that fall under the Tax Free system must be at least 1 million soums. Also, the product must not be opened and used. Employees of the tax committee, after checking the compliance of the goods with all the criteria, draw up a cashback. For various categories of goods, the passenger can return up to 90% of the VAT amount. Cashback is issued to the passenger’s card and paid out after the 25th day of the month following the month in which the return was registered.

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