By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Currently, as many as 90 flights are operated weekly between Turkey and Azerbaijan. However, there is more to come.
Turkish Airlines has launched direct flight Ankara-Baku-Ankara. First flight on this route was operated on April 22.
The opening ceremony of the new flight at Heydar Aliyev International Airport was attended by Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Erkan Ozoral, Chief Human Resources Officer of Turkish Airlines Abdulkerim Cay and Head of the Turkish Airlines representative office in Azerbaijan Seyfulla Ilyas.
Ilyas said that the airline will fly in three directions including Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan. Flights from Ankara to Baku will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Baku to Ankara - on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Flights on the Ankara-Baku route are scheduled at 23:45 (departure) and 03:35 (arrival) local time and on the Baku-Ankara route - at 04:30 (departure) and 06:20 (arrival).
Meanwhile, flights from Istanbul to Ganja and back will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights from Istanbul to Nakhchivan and in the opposite direction will also be carried out on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The company stated that these flights will be made daily starting from June 1, 2019.
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 the 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, IrAero, 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, 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.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz