Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) will be launching its first direct flight linking India and Azerbaijan, from Baku to New Delhi. The chartered flights will be carried out every Tuesday and Friday effective 25 June 2019. Regular flights will soon be added to further support the growth of tourism interest between the countries.
Azerbaijan continues to expand its network with flights now to 40 destinations in 30 countries, including seasonal flights. The Caucasus country is currently on the cusp of a tourism boom as it welcomed a record number of in-bound visitors spending more than USD 2 billion in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.
The new route will depart from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and arrive in Baku via Terminal 1 of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Air tickets can be booked online at www.azal.az and purchased through the offices of Azal’s official agents.
Flights will be operated on Tuesdays on a Boeing-757 aircraft catering to economy and business class travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. The frequency of flights will double by September / October this year.
Adding to the convenience of travel for tourists is the newly implemented visa process. Azerbaijan is one of the 41 countries in the world allowing Indians to acquire a visa on arrival with a simplified electronic visa procedure.
“India is a key market for us with immense potential due to the high number of international travellers and their growing interest in the region. We are excited to announce the first ever direct flight between Baku and New Delhi, India’s capital, to boost the flow of tourists to Azerbaijan. From UNECSO World Heritage Sites, outdoor activities, to phenomenal shopping experiences, Azerbaijan offers the perfect landscape for Indian travellers of all types,” said Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.
“The commencement of direct flights offers new opportunities for travellers to explore Azerbaijan’s unique stories and revelations, which is in line with our strategy to enhance our destination value and double the current in-bound tourism by 2023. With our excellent air accessibility, we look forward to welcoming new visitors and strengthening our tourism proposition and presence in South Asia,” he added.
Indian travellers will find several points of interest such as Atashgah or Fire Temple that serves as an example of the historical ties with India. The temple was used as a Hindu and Zoroastrian place of fire worship in the 19th century. Azerbaijan’s many ties to fire, such as Yanardag, the burning mountain that has blazed for a millennium, made the country home to Zoroastrians for hundreds of years.
Azerbaijan is an Eastern country with a Western outlook with several sites of interest that all positively contribute to its appeal as an emerging holiday destination. The safe and family-oriented nation offers excellent on-site activities, luxury hotels, and beautiful venues and locations for weddings and honeymoons. In addition to eateries serving local and international delicacies, Azerbaijan has many Indian restaurants with gourmet vegetarian options.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council 2018 Impact Report, this initiative of attracting tourists to the country is expected to improve its ranking amongst the countries with a high tourism contribution towards their national GDP. It is forecasted to be at six per cent per annum over the course of the next 10 years, ranking it amongst the world’s top 20 high potential countries.