By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
The increasing number of direct flights to Azerbaijan is caused by the recently grown flow of Russian tourists. Airline companies of the neighboring country continue to launch new flights to Azerbaijan to meet the high demand.
Recently, Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency gave a license to Izhavia airline to operate regular flights from nine Russian cities to Azerbaijan.
The list of cities includes Astrakhan, Volgograd, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Rostov-on-Don and Nizhny Novgorod. The license envisages two regular flights per week.
Izhavia is an airline based in Izhevsk, Russia. It is the national airline of the Udmurt Republic of Russia, which operates domestic charter and scheduled passenger services. Its main base is Izhevsk Airport. Izhavia operates flights throughout Russia.
Recently, Russia’s Smartavia airline started flights from Saint Petersburg to Azerbaijan. The new flight to Baku was operated from Pulkovo Airport on July 25. The flights to Baku are 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).
Speaking of the relatively new flights from Russia to Azerbaijan, Baku-Astrakhan and Baku-Ufa flights, launched by Buta Airways in May, are worth noting.
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).
As many as 1.8 million foreign tourists visited Azerbaijan in January-July 2019. This recorded 7.4 percent growth compared to the same period of 2018. Russia was a leader in tourist flow within reporting time.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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