AIR : The national
airline is Turkmenistan Airlines (T5). There are international
connections to Abu Dhabi (UAE), Birmingham (UK), Damascus (Syrian Arab
Republic), Delhi (India), Istanbul (Turkey), Karachi (Pakistan), Kyiv
(Ukraine), London (UK) and Moscow (Russian Federation). Flights
between London and Ashgabat are twice weekly. Ashgabat is also served
by Asseman Airlines from Tehran, by Lufthansa from Frankfurt/M and by
Turkish Airlines from Istanbul. There are connections within the CIS
to Moscow and St Petersburg (Russian Federation), Kyiv (Ukraine) and
Tashkent (Uzbekistan). All flight tickets bought by foreigners within
Turkmenistan must be paid for in hard currency. The prices tend to be
ten times as much as those that locals pay.
Approximate flight times : From London to Ashbagat is 6 hours
30 minutes, from Istanbul is 2 hours 30 minutes, from Abu Dhabi is 2
hours, from Karachi is 4 hours 30 minutes, from Tehran is 1 hour, from
Moscow is 3 hours 30 minutes, from Tashkent is 2 hours and from Kyiv
is 2 hours.
International airports : Ashgabat Airport (ASB) is
approximately 13km (8 miles) northwest of the city centre. A new
terminal building has resulted in an increase of capacity. The airport
is served by buses and taxis.
Departure tax : US$25. Nationals of CIS countries pay US$15 and
nationals of Turkmenistan pay US$5.
SEA : There are ferries to Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk)
from Baku (Azerbaijan) and an irregular service to Astrakhan (Russian
Federation). It is theoretically possible to travel from Moscow to
Turkmenbashi via the Volga River and the Caspian Sea without setting
foot on dry land.
RAIL : The Trans-Caspian Railway connects Turkmenistan with the
rest of the Central Asian republics and thence to Moscow and the rest
of the CIS. The terminus is in Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea, from
where it runs through Ashgabat before it crosses into Uzbekistan near
the city of Chardzhou. Approximate rail times from Turkmenbashi are:
to Tashkent 24 hours, to Dushanbe 36 hours and to Moscow 3 days. There
is a rail link to the Iranian network, enabling train travel from
Turkmenistan to Turkey (Istanbul).
ROAD : Turkmenistan is connected by road to Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan and to Mashad and Tehran in Iran. The crossing into Iran is
only open to nationals of the CIS and Iran. Bus : Services are
available to the capitals of the neighbouring republics, and north
across the Kara-Kum desert to Kunya-Urgench with connections to
Urgench and Khiva in Uzbekistan. A service also runs between Ashgabat
and Mashhad (eastern Iran).