By Amina Nazarli
Airports are amazing mini-cities, where every passenger looks for high-level comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer services in addition to friendly and helpful workers.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport, a modern airport only 20-minute drive from the center of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, offers full comfort for arriving and departing passengers.
In 2016, the Airport, which provides many flights take-off and land every day, served a record number of passengers in Azerbaijan's civil aviation history.
Some 3.26 million passengers used services of the national airport, where 83.5 percent of passenger traffic accounted for international transportation.
In 2016, 28 passenger airlines, including national carrier Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) carried out flights to the capital of Azerbaijan. Roughly 51.3 percent of the passengers traveling abroad accounted for AZAL.
The top five popular foreign airlines were Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, S7 Airlines, FlyDubai and Qatar Airways.
Istanbul, Moscow, Dubai and Kiev topped the list of the most popular international destinations - last year passenger traffic to these cities hit 1.37 million passengers.
In 2016, Iraqi Airways, Fly Baghdad, ATA Airlines, Air Cairo, Komaviatrans and Russian low-cost airline Pobeda began operating flights to Baku.
The new airport terminal of Heydar Aliyev Airport (Terminal 1), with total area is 65,000 square meters, was put into operation in April 2014.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport was awarded the category of "4 stars" by the Skytrax, which is influential British consulting company specializing in the study of the quality of services provided by various airlines and airports worldwide.
AZAL with the newest airplane fleets, consisting of 30 airplanes, does not have a single old plane. Staring last year the company provided its passengers with low-cost flights. The tickets (including all dues) for these flights cost 99 euros one way if purchased through the AZAL website and the airline ticket offices.
Flights to 13 popular destinations are operated under AZALJET brand since March 2016. Sales and flight scheme on these flights is close to low-cost airlines, that is, passengers have a choice of several services in the form of paid options.
Meanwhile, AZAL plans to establish a national low-cost carrier BUTA AIRWAYS. The airway, which is expected to begin flights in autumn 2017, will have its own fleet on the basis of Embraer aircrafts in its own livery, its own staff and independent tariff policy.
Being one of the leaders of the aviation community of the CIS countries, AZAL plans to launch direct flights to 100 major European cities until 2025. Thus, the number of direct flights between Baku and major European cities will be increased from 49 to 100.