By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Currently, as many as 90 flights are operated weekly between Turkey and Azerbaijan. However, there is more to come.
Turkey’s Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Mehmet Cahit Turhan said that Turkey and Azerbaijan will increase the number of flights to 115 per week, Trend reported on April 19.
The minister noted that the rise in the number of flights will begin during the summer months.
He also said that starting from April 22, direct flights from Ankara to Baku will be launched by Turkish Pegasus Airlines.
Baku increasingly spreads its flight map over the world. On April 2, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) launched regular flights on the Baku-Almaty-Baku route, which will contribute to the development of the country's tourist potential.
Moreover, Azerbaijan’s low-cost airline Buta Airways has announced a new destination in Russia. Starting from May 12, the airline will launch direct flights from Baku to Ufa. Flights will be operated twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.
Buta Airways will also launch direct flights from Baku to another two cities of Ukraine - Odessa and Kharkiv. Flights to Odessa will be operated starting from May 16 on Thursdays and Sundays, and those to Kharkiv – from May 3 on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Also, Romanian TAROM airline launched Bucharest-Baku direct flights on April 3. Moreover, the first direct flight was launched from the capital of Azerbaijan to Sofia in early 2018.
Several new charter flights were opened last year. For instance, AZAL launched flights on the Baku-Geneva route as part of a joint charter program.
Currently, 21 foreign airlines are represented in Azerbaijani market according to the State Civil Aviation Agency of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies. They are ATA Airlines, Montenegro Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, Nordwind Airlines, Ikar Airlines, Ir Aero, Al-Naser Airlines, Pobeda Airlines, SalamAir, Komiavaiatrans, Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Wataniya Airways, Mahan Air, Taban Air, Israir, Arkia Israel Airlines, Flynas, Gulf Air, Smartavia and Pegasus Airlines.
Last year, the Heydar Aliyev International Airport set a new record for passenger traffic: it served a total of 4.43 million passengers, which is 9 percent higher than in 2017. In 2018, base airlines of the Airport - AZAL and Buta Airways - carried 1.89 million and 442,000 passengers, respectively. A total of 3.81 million passengers were carried on international flights and 620,000 passengers - on regional flights.
Some 33.4 percent of the total number of international passengers accounted for AZAL, 11.6 percent - for Buta Airways, and 55 percent – for international airlines.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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