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July 8th, 2021, Baku - As the epidemiological situation improves, Azerbaijan is gradually resuming international air traffic that was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of airlines currently operating flights to the Heydar Aliyev International Airport has reached 20.
In addition to the flag carrier (AZAL) and its low-cost subsidiary (Buta Airways), such major carriers as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Aeroflot, S7, flyDubai, as well as such low-costers as Pegasus, SkyUp Airlines and a number of other carriers have resumed or are preparing to perform flights to the country.
Currently flights are operated to 37 destinations (information as of July 2021). AZAL operates services to nine destinations (about 24% of the total number of flights).
The most popular routes for passengers at the moment are flights from Russia (19 cities) and Turkey (7 cities). Passengers can also travel by air to Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Israel from Azerbaijan.
Also worth noting that services from other international airports of Azerbaijan have also been resumed. So, in addition to Baku, direct flights to Istanbul (Turkish Airlines) and Moscow (Utair) are being performed from Nakhchivan, flights to Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), Moscow and St. Petersburg (Ural Airlines) are performed from Ganja Airport, and flights to Moscow (Ural Airlines and Nordwind) and St. Petersburg (Nordwind) are operated from Lankaran Airport.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of airlines operating flights to Azerbaijan exceeded 30, and the total number of destinations was more than 60.
Since January 2020, the fifth and seventh degrees of freedom of airspace have been in effect at all airports in Azerbaijan. These degrees allow all foreign air carriers to operate flights from Azerbaijan to 40 countries in Europe, North America, Australia and Southeast Asia without any restrictions.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, annual passenger traffic of Azerbaijan airports was about 5 million people.
The Heydar Aliyev International Airport has been recognized as the Best Airport in the CIS several times. In 2021, it was certified with the highest 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating by international air transport rating agency Skytrax.