By Rasana Gasimova
The increase in the number of Russian tourist visiting Azerbaijan is pushing airline companies to increase the number of direct flights to Baku.
Thus, Russia’s Omsk region is planning to establish direct flights to Azerbaijan, the region’s governor Alexander Burkov has said, Trend reported citing the Russian media.
“Currently, we are negotiating with the representatives of airlines to launch flights to China, Germany, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. We are also planning to introduce a new flight to Almaty,” the governor said.
Burkov noted that the geography of international flights should be extended.
Earlier, Russia’s Smartavia airline started flights from Saint Petersburg to Azerbaijan. The new flight to Baku 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).
It should be noted that Russian citizens topped the list of tourists visiting Azerbaijan in 2018. Thus, Russians accounted to 30.9 percent (about 900,000) of 2,849,600 tourists visiting Azerbaijan from 196 countries across the world in 2018.
Azerbaijan and Russia are also establishing active cooperation between the ski resorts of Azerbaijan and North Caucasus. In a business forum held in Grozny in December 2018, the two countries discussed the possibility of connecting Azerbaijani and North Caucasian resorts by a single ski pass.
Russia and Azerbaijan also intend to organize cruises in the Caspian Sea in order to increase tourist potential of both countries. The organization of cruises in the sea is planned to start from 2020. Azerbaijan will become an even more attractive tourist destination after the launch of cruises.
Earlier, a memorandum was signed between Moscow River Shipping Company OJSC and Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company CJSC. Under the memorandum, the cruises will connect the three seas - the Caspian, Azov and Black. The ship will have a fitness room, swimming pool, restaurants, cinema etc.
At the first stage, trips will be organized on the Astrakhan-Baku route, and the route will be expanded later. The parties will conduct research to organize round trips on the Moscow-Baku, Astrakhan-Makhachkala-Baku, Baku-Enzeli-Noushehr-Turkmenbashi-Aktau-Astrakhan and other routes.
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