TODAY.AZ / Business

Envoy: Indians to increase investments thanks to new Baku-Delhi flight

27 June 2019 [15:15] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Leman Mammadova

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has started regular and charter flights from Baku to Delhi, one of India's largest cities, since June 25.

The opening of the direct flights is a historic event as all economic relations, business trips, tourists' traveling from one country to another and overall cultural relations depend on this, Azerbaijani Ambassador to India Ashraf Shikhaliyev told local media.

In his words, the number of visits between Azerbaijan and India will significantly increase in the near future.

The ambassador noted that numerous Indian delegations and businessmen come to the country, and the number of visits will multiply thanks to the direct flight. “I think that as a result, Indian business companies will invest large amounts in Azerbaijan. Looking at the last year figures, we see that there were not many Indian companies operating in Azerbaijan. But currently, up to 230 Indian companies operate in Azerbaijan. This figure will increase thanks to the launch of direct flights.”

Shikhaliyev also stressed that Indian tourism and film companies show great interest in Azerbaijan.

“Almost every month, Indian filmmakers make a film in Azerbaijan. Recently, Bollywood's top 10 directors and producers have come to Azerbaijan and discovered Azerbaijan as a new filming venue. Indian weddings are also held in Azerbaijan and there is a great interest for them. The launch of direct flights is a very important tool for the implementation of all this,” said the ambassador.

Shikhaliyev added that there are several economic centers in the giant country like India, and many people from Mumbai, a city with a population of 20 million, are eager to travel to Baku, and also possibly to European countries from the capital of Azerbaijan.

“Therefore, opening of direct flights between major cities of India and Azerbaijan will help to increase the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan, as well as to present Azerbaijan as a transit country for Indians traveling to Europe. Thanks to this, our country will get an additional income,” he said.

AZAL operates the Baku-Delhi flights twice a week - on Tuesdays and Fridays by Boeing-757 aircraft with economy and business class configurations. Departures are carried out through Terminal 1 of Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.

Baku-Delhi direct flight will contribute to further development of tourism relations between India and Azerbaijan.

It should be noted that the number of Indian tourists visiting Azerbaijan amounted to 40,000 people in 2018. As many as 14,173 Indian tourists traveled to Azerbaijan in 2017, 6,012 in 2016, 5,584 in 2015, and 4,853 in 2014.

Indian tourists have been increasingly showing interest in Azerbaijan in recent years. In January-April 2019, the number of Indian tourists visiting Azerbaijan increased 1.8 percent compared to the same period of last year.

Both India and Azerbaijan started online visa issuance in 2017, which greatly helped in tourists' travel. Indian tourists are able to get online visas for Azerbaijan within three hours.

In late 2018, Azerbaijan Tourism Board opened its official representative office in Mumbai to introduce Azerbaijan's tourism opportunities and conduct propaganda. On January 16-18, 2019, Azerbaijani delegation headed by Azerbaijan Tourism Board attended SATTE 2019 international exhibition in New Delhi.


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