Air Marakanda, the operator of Samarkand International Airport (‘SKD’), has received silver membership at the European branch of Airports Council International (ACI Europe), the only global membership organisation for airport operators and associations.
ACI Europe currently represents over 500 airports in 55 countries. Its member airports serve 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe – 2.3 billion passengers, 18.4 million tons of cargo, and 21.2 million flights annually.
Anton Khodzhajan, General Director of airport management company Air Marakanda LLC, said, “Silver membership in the International Council of Airports Europe is an important acknowledgement of Samarkand International Airport, and the next step towards a truly international profile for Air Marakanda. Here at our airport, in all areas of aviation business. I am convinced our cooperation will lead to improved service quality and an experience of international standards for travellers using SKD. Samarkand International is ready to be part of ACI Europe’s global community of excellence.”
ACI Europe represents its member airports, facilitates cooperation between airlines, airports and other aviation businesses, and works as network to ensure success for the entire aviation industry. The organisation also promotes the interest of airport operators towards regulators and legislatures, and aims to inform public opinion about the airport business.
ACI Europe membership is regarded as a validation of Air Marakanda’s efforts in developing SKD and also offers new opportunities for a continued improvement.
Air Marakanda’s membership aligns with the company’s continued development of new routes to Uzbekistan’s historic gem – the ancient city of Samarkand. Air Marakanda and its state partner Uzbekistan Airports JCS have re-developed and expanded SKD for USD 80 million. The new airport will serve the region’s population of 3.9 million and act as a hub for international transit flights.
Serving visitors to Uzbekistan’s most frequented tourist sites in, and around, the historic Silk Road city – the modern facility will be able to handle four times the number of passengers than it could previously. Independent research by market research firm, Lufthansa Consulting, forecasts an increase in annual passenger traffic from 480,000 to two million.