Direct flights between U.S., Azerbaijan amounts to positive development

By: Nazrin Gadimova

The opening of direct flights between the U.S. and Azerbaijan amounts to positive development for both sides, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation Susan Kurland told Trend on May 30.

She said Azerbaijan Airlines received the initial economic license from the U.S. Department of Transportation on May 21, which permits the company to operate direct flights between Baku and New York. She also emphasized that such flights can promote partnerships, trade, tourism, and economic growth in both countries.

“The carrier can begin operations once it has received the necessary authorities from other U.S. government agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and Border Protection. It has already made the necessary arrangements with the local airport authorities in New York,” Kurland added.

Speaking about other directions in the U.S. for the future direct flights, Kurland said the U.S. will consider future applications for additional services.

“Aviation negotiators of the United States and Azerbaijan have been discussing about an Open Skies air transport agreement. The agreement would give Azerbaijani carriers the right to serve all points in the U.S. from all points in Azerbaijan,” she said.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already issued a certificate allowing Azerbaijani Airlines to operate direct flights to the U.S.

The FAA has concluded that the Azerbaijani State Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) is effectively fulfilling its safety oversight obligations as a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization in all eight critical categories.

Earlier, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar expressed hope that the direct flights be opened before the end of this year.


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