Azerbaijan Airlines, also known as AZAL is the flag carrier of Azerbaijan. It is based out of Baku and operates a fleet of 21 aircraft including 2 A340-500, which flew for Kingfisher Airlines back in the day. You may have read about Baku if not familiar with the place. A lot of India bound or outbound flights to Europe/USA are diverted to Baku in case of a technical snag or an emergency since Baku lies in the flight path.
IndiGo had earlier envisaged operating one-stop flights to London from Delhi via Baku. Lufthansa for a brief period operated Pune-Frankfurt with a technical stop in Baku with an A319. But Lufthansa didn’t operate it as fifth freedom flight, so there wasn’t any connectivity between India and Azerbaijan as such. Finally, there will be a non-stop direct flight to Baku from New Delhi.
From June 25, 2019, AZAL will operate a 757-200 on Baku-New Delhi route once a week. In the winter season, the frequency will be doubled to twice weekly. The schedule for the new flight is,
J25001 GYD1835 – 0100(+1day)DEL 2 B752
J25002 DEL0200 – 0710GYD 3 B752
A roundtrip economy class starts at INR 44K (USD 635.6).
A roundtrip business class ticket will cost you INR 118K (USD 1613.2).
AZAL will operate a 2 class 757-200 on this route. Azal’s 757s are configured with 22 business class seats and 158 economy class seats. Business class onboard the 757-200 is recliner and not lie-flat. Economy class seats are old and heavily padded compared to the slimline seats these days. AZAL’s 757s do not have seatback entertainment screen but feature overhead monitors.
Azerbaijan is located below sea level. It is also known as the Land of Fire. There are a lot of places to visit in Azerbaijan like the Caspian Sea, Caucasus mountains, flaming mountain, mud volcano, ancient mosques and minarets, modern architecture like Flaming Towers of Baku and so-on. There are cities/places like Baku, Nakhchivan, Khinalug, Zaqatala, Laza, Khinalug, Qabala and so-on.
Not just that, Azerbaijan is home to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as well, which will next be held in 2020. Formula 1 lovers can definitely plan to fly there for the next one. Let’s hope this flight sticks around for a while. You can get an e-visa for 20$ here.