With flights to Baku from both Gatwick and Heathrow Airports, it’s now even easier to get to Azerbaijan

For most travellers Azerbaijan remains off the beaten track. Nestled between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, the country boasts mountains, serene landscapes, and a fascinating mix of medieval and modern in its capital city Baku.

Last month, Azerbaijan’s national carrier Azerbaijan Airlines, or AZAL for short, launched its new route to Gatwick Airport, where it now flies three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Among the welcoming party greeting Flight J2 107 from Baku when it landed at London Gatwick at 09.25 on Sunday, 17 March, was Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to London, Stephanie Wear, the Vice-President of Aviation Development at Gatwick Airport, and AZAL’s Regional Head of Europe Kamran Gajar.

Passengers on the 95% full flight were also treated to music by popular Azerbaijani musician Chingiz Mustafayev and his band as they disembarked from the aircraft.

The duration of the flight from Baku to London is six hours long, and five-and-a-half hours from London to Baku, with AZAL offering both economy and business class seats on its aircraft.

The airline’s decision to add Gatwick to its growing list of destinations follows new routes to Doha, in Qatar, and Beijing in China in 2023.

AZAL was already operating three flights a week to Heathrow Airport, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. With its Gatwick expansion, there are now six flights every week connecting Baku with London.

The doubling of flights to the British capital reflects the deepening ties between Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom, along with growing commercial, political and consumer interest in the Land of Fire.

“Three Gatwick morning and three Heathrow evening flights will not only extend the air bridge between the UK and Azerbaijan, it will also expand the bridges of partnership, co-operation and friendship between our countries.

“It is a clear demonstration of Azerbaijan’s commitment to the UK as a business hub, as well as expanding Azerbaijan’s reach into wider Europe. We also continue to link our capital, Baku, to the rest of the world ahead COP29,” Ambassador Suleymanov told Diplomat Magazine.

Azerbaijan will be hosting the 2024 United Nations Climate Change, more commonly known as COP 29, from 11 to 22 November 2024, where some 70,000 delegates from all around the world are expected to attend.

Baku, which is the largest city on the Caspian Sea and in the Caucasus region, is no stranger to hosting major international events. It hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 and the 2015 European Games. It has staged the Azerbaijan Grand Prix since 2017 and was one of the host cities for UEFA Euro 2020.

Azerbaijan Airlines was officially established on 7 April 1992 and is based by Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku. Today, it is one of the leading aviation companies among the twelve former Soviet states of Central Asia (CIS) with one of the most modern aircraft fleets among them, flying to over 50 destinations worldwide.