Azerbaijan has announced a significant change to its foreign airline policies. As of 1st January, all airlines based in a list of 40 different countries from North America, Asia and Europe, will automatically receive fifth and seventh freedom rights in Azerbaijan. This significant change to its current aviation policy will help encourage tourism and visitors to the country.
With fifth freedom rights, foreign carriers will now be able to stop over in Azerbaijan en route to destinations in other countries. Meanwhile, seventh freedom rights will allow foreign carriers to fly between two foreign countries with a stop in Azerbaijan. Prior to 1st January 2020, Azerbaijan had much more restrictive policies to deal with rights for foreign airlines. The country’s civil aviation authority used to grant rights to foreign airlines on an individual basis. Now, fifth and seventh freedom rights will be extended to all airlines based in any of the 40 countries covered by the new agreement.
Without any obstacles, air carriers will travel from Baku to France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia, Ireland, It can carry passengers to Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Bulgaria, Georgia, USA, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, South Korea, Malaysia and Australia. In the future, the number of countries may be increased.
Not only they will automatically be allowed to operate flights to Baku, but they will also be able to fly to any of the country’s airports. New airlines that open a route to Azerbaijan will enjoy a 100% discount on airport services during the first year of operation. In the second, third and fourth years of operation the discount will be 70%, 50% and 30% respectively.
Now that foreign carriers will be able to land with fifth and seventh freedom rights throughout Azerbaijan, the country’s smaller airports may well start to see a greater share of overall air traffic.