DALLAS — Uzbekistan Airways (HY) has potentially put their attempt to sell aging Boeing aircraft in their fleet back on the table. The announcement comes just days after the airline announced plans to acquire brand new Airbus A320neo aircraft.
The aging aircraft fleet up for sale includes the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767. Also included in the potential lot is a fleet of Soviet-era aircraft such as the IL-76 and IL-114, the latter of which ceased operations with Uzbekistan Airways in 2018.
A pair of Soviet-era Mi-8 helicopters are also included in the sale.
Buyers interested in the four Boeing aircraft have until the end of February to submit their offers.
Historical Aircraft of a Global Superpower
The IL-76 and IL-114 were both developed by the Soviet Union, a former global superpower. Introduced in the early 1970s, the IL-76 was originally designed as a strategic airlift for the Soviet Red Army. The IL-76 was designed to serve the most remote regions of Siberia. Since then, the IL-76 has served many roles, including aerial refueling, civilian passenger/cargo transport, and even as an astronaut zero-g trainer.
The smaller, but still mighty, IL-114, was also designed during the Soviet era. The design for the IL-114, on the other hand, came near the end of the Soviet Union in 1990. Of the 28 ever built, 6 of them are part of the Uzbekistan Airways lot.
The 64-seat turboprop aircraft’s production was halted in 2012 during a restructuring of the production facility. However, production was re-instated in 2016, with the “new” first flight in 2019.
The Mi-8 Helicopter
Designed in the early 1960s as a troop transport helicopter for the Soviet Air Force, the Mi-8 has seen extensive use on both military and civilian fleets.
Since 1961, over 17000 of these helicopters have been built, with some still being manufactured in Russia. The Mi-8 has served as a military transport as well as a military gunship. However, it has also seen use by civilian operators around Asia as well as the United States.
On the civilian side, the Mi-8 is able to carry up to 24 passengers in a single-class configuration. More developed variants of the civilian Mi-8 have also been configured for 9–11 VIP passenger transport aircraft.
Featured Image: Alberto Cucini/Airways