Pakistan and Azerbaijan to have direct flight soon

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ISLAMABAD: A direct flight between Azerbaijan and Pakistan is scheduled to be launched soon, announced Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Monday.

The minister was speaking to Ali Alizada, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador on Monday in Islamabad, according to a government press release.

Both sides agreed on developing strong relations in the field of aviation.

“Pakistan and Azerbaijan are brotherly countries. Our relations are warm and cordial based on trust and respect,” Sarwar said.

Similarly, Ali Alizada said that Azerbaijan is keen on enhancing ties with Pakistan.

Interestingly Draft Air Services Agreementaal(ASA) between Pakistan and Azerbaijan was agreed in 1993. Even on 30th September 2009, an MoU was agreed upon between Pakistan and Azerbaijan.As per that MoU, PIA (Pakistan) could have 7 weekly frequencies with any type of aircrafts with a restriction of 1500 seats per week in each direction. Same goes for Azal, Silk Way West (Azerbaijan).

At present there is no air link between two countries. Due to paucity of traffic no airline from either state is operating.

In order to establish an air link, Turkish Airlines was allowed to operate flights from Istanbul to Lahore/Islamabad through Baku. However; Turkih Airlines is facing low yield.

Another noticeable aspect of this emerging cooperation in aviation sector is the rising number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan.

Recent years have witnessed a growing number of Pakistanis coming to Azerbaijan for business and leisure purposes.

In fact, Baku has now become the “new Dubai” for Pakistanis.

This trendy city is quite affordable in terms of both living and travel-related costs, and offers a sense of safety which Pakistanis find lacking in many countries – particularly Western countries.

In 2018, the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan crossed 25,000.

In 2017 the exact number of Pakistani tourists entering Azerbaijan was 17,556; only 3,800 did so in 2016. In January 2017 the Azerbaijani government created tourist visas to be accessible online – which instantly became popular in Pakistan.

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