Baku (Azerbaijan) celebrates Eurovision victory; five new routes starting in May, Qatar Airways coming in November

Eurovision Song Contest winners Ell & Nikki with President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban

It’s just that important: Eurovision Song Contest winners Ell & Nikki are received in Baku by President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban.

Azerbaijan’s victory in last Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf means that Europe’s media will be descending on Baku next year. The country’s main airport serving the capital looks set to see passenger numbers grow significantly in 2011 as the national airline, Azerbaijan Airlines, has already started several new routes this year with more to come. At the end of the year the airport will welcome Qatar Airways which plans to operate daily flights to Doha. Although Emirates does not serve the airport flydubai serves Dubai with four weekly flights. The following summarises the new services expected to start in 2011.

Launch date Destination Airline Weekly frequency
18 March Izmir (ADB) Azerbaijan Airlines 2
30 March Kiev Borispol (KBP) Azerbaijan Airlines 4
16 May Simferopol (SIP) Azerbaijan Airlines 2
17 May Trabzon (TZX) Azerbaijan Airlines 2
24 May Amsterdam (AMS) Azerbaijan Airlines 2
25 May Aberdeen (ABZ) Azerbaijan Airlines 2
25 May Novosibirsk (OVB) Turan Air 1
1 June Odessa (ODS) AeroSvit 1
3 June Donetsk (DOK) AeroSvit 1
6 June Prague (PRG) Czech Airlines 1
12 June Karlovy Vary (KLV) Azerbaijan Airlines 1
30 November Doha (DOH) Qatar Airways 7
Source: new route database

There are still relatively few non-stop flights to Baku operated by Western European airlines. Austrian operates from Vienna, Lufthansa from Frankfurt and bmi British Midland from London Heathrow. airBaltic and CSA Czech Airlines also have flights from Riga and Prague. Other non-stop services to Europe are provided by Azerbaijan Airlines which operates flights to Amsterdam, Milan and Paris.

Baku’s new 53,000 metre/3 million passenger Heydar Aliyev International Airport. The design is by UK consulting engineer, Arup (best known for its Sydney Opera House work). According to Arup the Baku design has been “greatly influenced by the vision and design ideas of the client, Mr Jahangir Askerov, president of Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL).”


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