Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines started flights from Istanbul to the historic Central Asian city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan on March 16, according to a company announcement.
“Samarkand, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list, has been added to the flight network as the 302nd destination of Turkish Airlines,” the flag carrier said.
“Samarkand, founded on the Silk Road and for centuries one of international trade’s most important transportation hubs, has become Turkish Airlines’ second destination in Uzbekistan after the capital city Tashkent,” it said.
In a speech at the opening ceremony held at Samarkand Airport, Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Ekşi hailed the new destination as “one of the most important cities in our civilization.”
“This pearl of a city — featuring madrasahs, mosques, museums, tombs, and architectural masterpieces — will quickly make progress in tourism,” he said. “Also we are glad to serve this city, the eternal resting place for so many historical figures and scholars.”
“We are proud to strengthen ties between our two sister countries by operating our flights since 1992,” he added, mentioning that there were flights to Tashkent seven times a week.