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Tajikistan Pulls Itself Back From Precipice of Aviation Isolation

Only some panicked, last-minute diplomacy has prevented Tajikistan being plunged into almost total isolation after Russia backed away from threats to suspend flights between the two countries.

In more positive aviation news, Uzbekistan’s plans to reopen air links with Tajikistan as of next year portends new possibilities in much-needed regional cooperation.

Russia last week dangled the threat of unilaterally closing air traffic with Tajikistan after the latter dragged its feet granting permission for flights to Dushanbe and the northern city of Khujand from Moscow region’s recently completed Zhukovsky International Airport.

That prospect would have been nothing short of cataclysmic for Tajikistan. Flights to and from Russia account for 95 percent of the totality of Tajikistan’s international air traffic. Passengers are in the main the labor migrants that keep the economy afloat. The remaining 5 percent of routes are accounted for by flights to Istanbul, Bishkek and Dubai and are, according to industry insiders, not nearly as profitable as those to Russia.

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Tajikistan Pulls Itself Back From Precipice of Aviation Isolation

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