Back in August, Uzbekistan Airways received the first of its two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners ordered from Boeing. The national airline of the Republic of Uzbekistan has long been under the radar, even after receiving this next generation aircraft type. Information about the cabin products is absent on the official website of the airline; media coverage has also been scarce. In this post, >talkairlines will be taking a close look at the mysterious Central Asian beauty.
The Uzbekistan Airways Dreamliner bears the distinctive flag-inspired livery of the carrier. The white fuselage is decorated with a blue stripe on the top, green stripe on the belly, and red lines dividing the colors. While the design might not be particularly contemporary, how it divides the plane into three major color blocks is unique and attention-grabbing. This boldness certainly makes the plane stand out anytime anywhere.
On this aircraft, there are a total 246 seats, including 24 in Business Class (18 between exits L1/R1 and L2/R2 and 4 behind L2/R2) and 222 in Economy Class. For the first time ever, Uzbekistan Airways has chosen a full flat-bed Business Class seat model, the Zodiac Aura Lite. Each customer will be able to enjoy on-demand entertainment from the Thales AVANT personal television (PTV). Power outlets and USB ports are also installed. A pity is how the new seats lack direct aisle access as they are configured in a 2-2-2 layout.
Economy Class also features products from Zodiac Aerospace; the Z300 model is installed in a 9-abreast 3-3-3 layout. The seats have Thales AVANT IFE and USB ports installed. A deep-blue fabric covers the seat while the dividers are decorated with a light sky blue color in addition to the logo of the carrier. While the blue scheme creates a subtle ambiance, it doesn’t necessarily connect with the brand image nor the bright and unique exterior of the aircraft.
>talkairlines is slightly disappointed by the cabin design of the aircraft. It is not difficult to tell that not much was invested in seat-customization. Not to mention the lack of brand uniqueness regarding the interior-color schemes. Frankly speaking, we were not expecting much from this carrier in the first place. However, aware of how the Uzbek government is trying to turn Tashkent Airport into a hub for transit passengers, we were anticipating the national carrier to revolve its brand and draw design inspirations from the culturally rich Uzbekistan. After all, this is an era in which most airlines are becoming increasingly identical with hardware offerings. Brand differentiation is more important than ever, yet the airline seems to have missed a perfect opportunity to complete the task.
Nonetheless, we would still like to congratulate Uzbekistan Airways on receiving the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The carrier has now stepped up its game and come into line with regional players, including the aggressive Air Astana from Kazakhstan and AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines. We are confident that the new cutting-edge Dreamliner and its hardware products, including lie-flat seats and next generation PTV, will allow Uzbekistan Airways to enhance its competitiveness and increase its international presence.