Passenger traffic at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku surpassed three million during the first eight months of 2018, according to data provided by Azerbaijan’s national air carrier Azerbaijan Airlines. This sets a new record for the Caspian country, as it outpaces figures for the same period last year by 12 percent.
“High quality of services at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport and growing interest in Baku as a comfortable transit city for international flights are the main reasons for achieving a new passenger transportation record,” Pasha Kesamanski, Spokesperson to AZAL, told Caspian News.
“National tourism, namely increasing the tourist influx in Azerbaijan, is also positively affecting the increase of passenger traffic,” Kesamanski said.
Azerbaijan Airlines, abbreviated “AZAL,” carried over 1.34 million passengers thus far in 2018, while the low-cost Azerbaijani airline Buta Airways served an additional 305,000 passengers. AZAL and Buta Airways comprised 34 percent and 11 percent of the total international flights' passenger traffic at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Another 1.46 million passengers flew on non-Azerbaijani airlines, including FlyDubai, Turkish Airlines, Air Arabia and Aeroflot.
The state-run airline has a fleet of 24 Airbus, Embraer and Boeing jets. In 2014, the company purchases Dreamliner 787-8 jets – the first in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region to do so. The Dreamliner is used for direct flights from Baku to New York City.
In May, the Heydar Aliyev International Airport received the highest 5-Star rating from Skytrax World Airport Awards to book a place among the world’s nine best and the first in all post-Soviet countries. The new terminal of Heydar Aliyev International Airport was launched in 2014 and services 30 different airlines with flights to more than 40 destinations worldwide, including New York City.
Over 1.6 million tourists traveled to Azerbaijan during the first seven months of 2018, according to data compiled by the State Statistics Committee, showing an increase of 9.1 percent compared to the same period in 2017.