A visit to Central Asia led me to book on Somon Air from Dubai to Dushanbe in Tajikistan. A decent website, and easy online booking were a good start. Reasonable price too. Check-in and boarding fine. Comfortable seat on a 737-900, with no IFE, but a nice meal.
How come unknown airlines like this can successfully put together a decent operation while well-known carriers in the “West” struggle? It describes itself as a “private airline”, and the business climate in Tajikistan is tricky, but perhaps less complicated than for EU carriers. Somon was very different from my next ride, on state-owned Uzbekistan Airways, so there is no comparison there.