Foreign airlines may open new budget flights to Azerbaijani regions

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Baku, 8 February, AZERTAC 

International Airports jointly with the Aviation Security Department of Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) are holding negotiations with representatives of the aviation authorities of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and some other countries for closer cooperation within passenger air transportation.

The parties explore the opportunity of launching flights from the Azerbaijani regions to popular destinations of other countries. In particular, opening of direct flights from Istanbul to Gabala and Lankaran airports by Turkish Pegasus and Atlasjet airlines is on the agenda.

Air Arabia low-cost airline can open direct flights from the third largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah, to Baku, Gabala and other regions of Azerbaijan, according to AZAL.

Recently, the delegation of Israel's national airline - El Al Israel Airlines has visited Azerbaijan and conducted audit in the field of aviation security at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku. Representatives of El Al announced plans on opening direct flights from Tel Aviv to Baku by Israeli El Al and Arkia airlines in 2016.

Lately, Russian UTair airlines and Ural Airlines have conducted a number of audits at Baku, Lankaran and Ganja airports.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines operates flights from Istanbul to Nakhchivan and from Istanbul to Ganja; Russian UTair airlines operates flights from Moscow to Nakhchivan, and Ural Airlines operates flights on Moscow - Ganja, Moscow - Lankaran and Moscow –Gabala routes. Several Russian airlines expressed their intention to operate flights from St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk to Azerbaijani regional airports.

“We are interested in further cooperation with other countries’ airlines in order to expand the geography of flights and attract tourists to Azerbaijan. We plan to negotiate individually with each airline which plans to open new routes to Azerbaijan. We are ready to consider providing them with additional discounts on service at regional airports in the initial phase,” AZAL vice-president Arif Mammadov said.

Currently, six airports (Baku, Nakhchivan, Ganja, Gabala, Lankaran and Zagatala) operate in Azerbaijan, which have international status and meet all modern requirements in civil aviation.

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