Uzbekistan Airways Retires Last Ilyushin Il-114

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Last summer I had the chance to visit Uzbekistan. I flew with Live and Let’s Fly from New York to Tashkent in Uzbekistan Airways’ 787 business class, spent a few days in Uzbekistan, and then continued from Tashkent to Dushanbe in Uzbekistan Airways’ A320 business class. The experience was fascinating, though rather annoyingly the airline has a policy against photography (though that didn’t stop us).

It was only shortly before our trip that we realized something very special about their national airline. Specifically, Uzbekistan Airways operated the Ilyushin Il-114. This is a Russian built plane, of which only 20 were ever produced. Uzbekistan Airways had six of them in their fleet.

These cute little planes have 52 seats, in an all economy configuration.

We did our best to plan a day trip that would allow us to fly one of these, as they did operate some domestic routes for the airline. We were very surprised to find out that just about all domestic flights operated by the plane were sold out over our four days there, and we couldn’t get an itinerary to work.

We sure were bummed about that, though both wanted to return to Uzbekistan at some point, if for no other reason than to fly one of these planes. Unfortunately it looks like that won’t be happening, as Uzbekistan Airways has just retired their last Il-114. Not only is this significant for the airline specifically, but this also means that there are no airlines operating the Il-114 anymore.

This was the only prop in Uzbekistan Airways’ fleet, so they don’t have a direct replacement for the plane. The airline also operates some BAe 146 aircraft, and then their next smallest plane is an A320, which represents a significant capacity increase.

Aeronautics Online reports that these planes are now for sale. Initially the airline wanted to lease them out, but unsurprisingly they couldn’t find an interested party. Now they hope to sell the planes, and rumor has it that the one potential interested customer is Ilyushin, which might want to use them to test out the possibility of creating a new version of the aircraft.

That seems sort of silly when you consider how unsuccessful the plane was the first time around, and for that matter Ilyushin hasn’t produced a successful passenger plane in quite a while.

(Featured image courtesy Andrew Dyubin, Wikimedia Commons)

Comments
  1. The reason as for why Uzbekistan Airways had these Il-114’s is simple. Even though it was designed by Ilyushin Design Bureau during Soviet Union, it was made in Tashkent, at formerly Tashkent Aviation Production Association, now Tashkent Mechanical Plant. So it is not Russian built, but Russian designed, Uzbek built.

  2. Time for US federal government to start buying some ilyushin planes.

    Why else did Russia install trump? The incompetent moron has been unable to deliver in other areas. Maybe he can waste/ spend some money. He is good at that.

  3. I think we need a new Godwin’s law for President Trump. People seem incapable of posting on any subject without his name coming up.

  4. I’m just surprised they’re still operating BAe-146s. Haven’t flown on one of those in some 30+ years. They went out of production 17 years ago.

  5. Lucky if you are interested in Soviet planes, look into Motor Sich airlines when you go to Ukraine the next time. I flew on one of their 45 year old Antonov 24s from Kiev to Lviv for $30, one of the most memorable flights I’ve ever had.

  6. All is not lost Lucky. Our president is putting them back into production. As per Wikipedia: In July 2017, it was announced that Russia’s United Aircraft Corp. (UAC) had signed a letter of intent with State Transport Leasing Co. for 50 Ilyushin Il-114-300s. Although the delivery schedule was not disclosed, the manufacturer and lessor are expected to sign a preliminary agreement on terms and conditions before the end of 2017.[34] In 2017, the Kremlin injected ₽9.6 billion ($153 million) into the Il-114-300 and for three years from 2018, UAC plans to invest ₽7.66 billion ($122 million) for the Il-114-300.[35]

    Even though it doesn’t make a lot of economic sense, it’s about Russia’s skill set and the ability to produce large, complex machinery. We’re moving forward.

  7. Some regional airlines in China continued to fly Ilyushin’s and Antonov’s well after their ‘use-by date’. I recall several trips to Urumqi on an Ilyushin 62 ( the 747 counterpart) on Xinjiang Airlines. They were still flying them quite recently, although my last trip was about a decade ago.

  8. That’s cool that you go on trips with Matt from Live and Lets Fly. Nice that you guys are friends and not competitors.

  9. The issue is that the schedule has suffered greatly too. TMJ flights no longer daily, same for BHK and UGC. When I flew an Il 114 to BHK there were two daily flights. Train is an option but not for time effective travel…

  10. In re: my post above… Just an update, FWIW: the last flight I took on a BAe-146 was in October 1986, on AirCal. I probably flew them on (the original) PSA, too.

  11. I had the chance to fly on one of these when I was in Uzbekistan back in 2016! NCU – TAS for about $94 – the alternative was a 24-hour unairconditioned train in the summer. An easy choice!

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