By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Noticeably grown number of Russian tourists travelling to Azerbaijan pushes airline companies to increase the number of direct flights to Baku.
Russian airline Smartavia has started flights from Saint Petersburg to Azerbaijan. The new flight to Baku was operated from Pulkovo Airport at 16:25 on July 25.
The flights to Baku will be performed twice a week: on Thursdays and Saturdays on a Boeing 737-700 with an economy class cabin. Ticket prices start from 8,830 rubles ($139.78).
At present, there is a high demand for flights from Saint Petersburg to Baku.
Tourists are attracted by the quality of the hotels, various excursion programs and the development of sanitary and spa complexes in Azerbaijan.
In addition, lack of language restrictions and the possibility of visa-free travel are also important factors for the development of tourism between the two countries.
As for the relatively new flights to Azerbaijan, it is important to note Baku-Odessa, Baku-Kharkiv, Baku-Astrakhan, and Baku-Ufa flights launched by Buta Airways in May. Baku-Ufa flights are operated twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays.
Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) launched regular flights on the Baku-Almaty-Baku route on April 2.
Currently, 21 foreign airlines operate in the Azerbaijani market.
Russia was the leader in the tourism market of Azerbaijan in 2018. As many as 2,849,600 tourists from 196 countries arrived in Azerbaijan during the year and Russians make up the largest part of the tourists having a share of 30.9 percent (about 900,000).
Thus, the actively growing interest of Russian airlines in opening flights to Azerbaijan is understandable and reasonable.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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