Etihad Airways plans to launch scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and Baku, the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The service will be operated three times a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy.

Azerbaijan introduced a visa waiver programme for UAE nationals in November 2015 and expanded it to other GCC nations in early 2016. This prompted a surge in travel from across the GCC to the emerging tourist destination located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, which offers visitors access to vast areas of unspoiled nature and centuries-old culture. Baku, which sits on the Caspian Sea, is the country’s primary gateway and commercial centre.

During the first nine months of 2016, foreign tourists visiting Azerbaijan totaled 1.7 million. The number of visitors from the UAE and GCC increased 30 times on the same nine-month period in 2015, fueled by the easing of visa restrictions.

The country can accommodate about 40,000 tourists in its 575 hotels, which include a series of luxury hotels enter into the market. Some of them are Excelsior, Hilton, Four Seasons, Fairmont, JW Marriott. Besides luxury hotels, the country has several budget hotels for cost-conscious travelers. Book hotels in Baku

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Based on the growth witnessed in recent months from the UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries to Azerbaijan, we are confident that the new route will boost traffic from the UAE, and in turn we look forward to welcoming Azerbaijanis on our flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond.”

Earlier this year, the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee said both countries were to focus on nine key areas for bilateral cooperation, including air transport, tourism, communications, environment, water, agriculture, renewable energy, modern technology, and industry. Non-oil trade between the two countries reached over US$605 million in 2015, increasing by US$228 million during the first nine months of 2016.

Etihad Airways’ new flights, operating every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, provide optimum timings for guests departing and arriving in Abu Dhabi and Baku. The schedule also provides convenient connections to and from the airline’s global network.

Flight schedule: Abu Dhabi – Baku, effective 2 March 2018:

Flight No. Origin Departs Destination Arrives Frequency Aircraft
EY297 Abu Dhabi 10:10 Baku 13:15 Wed, Fri, Sat A320
EY298 Baku 16:30 Abu Dhabi 19:25 Wed, Fri, Sat A320

 

All departures and arrivals are listed in local time.