On Monday, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Federal Minister for Aviation, announced that direct flights between Azerbaijan and Pakistan will begin soon.
He said this while meeting Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Alizad, said a press release. Both sides have agreed to strengthen their relationship in the field of aviation.
“Pakistan and Azerbaijan are brotherly countries. Relations between the two countries are warm, cordial, based on trust and respect”, said the minister. The Ambassador said that his country was keen to broaden its relations with Pakistan. It is worth pointing out that in 1993 both countries inked the Draft Air Services Agreement (ASA) and in lieu of this, in late 2009, they signed an MoU. Currently, due to low traffic, there is no air link between them as no airline from either state is going to the other country.
In order to set up an air-link, Turkish Airlines was given permission to carry out flights from Istanbul to Lahore/Islamabad through Baku but the airline is facing low returns.
Interestingly, this fledgling collaboration in the aviation sector has led to an increase in the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan. In recent times, an ever increasing number of Pakistanis are going to Azerbaijan for business and leisure reasons.
Baku is reasonable on the wallet in terms of the living and travel expenses and it offers an aura of safety Pakistanis find lacking in other countries – particularly in the West.