Baku-Barcelona direct flight expected to resume next summer (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.1
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
It is planned to resume the direct flight between Baku and Barcelona in the summer of 2017, Jose Luis Diez Juarez, Charge d'Affaires of Spain to Azerbaijan told Trend in an interview.
“In 2015 it was the first time a direct flight between Baku and Barcelona was launched. It operated from May to October. In 2016 it was a little shorter due to crisis – from June to September,” Diez said.
He noted that for the moment the demand for this destination is not enough to justify a flight all year long, but if the demand increases Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), which serves this route, could consider to extend the period of direct flights.
Diez noted that earlier Spanish air company Vueling also wanted to launch a direct flight between Barcelona and Baku and its representatives were negotiating on this issue with Azerbaijan. He said the decision eventually was not reached, and currently no negotiations are held on the issue.
He also said that currently there are no plans to launch direct flight from Baku to any other Spanish city.
“The main destination for Azerbaijani tourists is Barcelona, so it is more profitable and reasonable to have a flight to Barcelona,” charge d'affaires said.
According to Diez, a tourist flow from Azerbaijan to Spain has been increasing constantly in recent years to about 7,000- 10,000 tourists per year.
“It is difficult to calculate because some tourists do not go directly to Spain, they maybe go to France and then to Spain. Some of them stay long – not just have a visit of two-three days to Barcelona, they stay for a week –two weeks at our beaches,” he said.
Diez did say that there was a decrease in tourist flow from Azerbaijan due to crisis this year. He also said that more and more tourists from Spain come to visit Azerbaijan.
“Some travel agencies tell me that they engage interpreters of Spanish for the tourists they are receiving. I don’t know the numbers, but apparently it has increased already,” Diez said.
Spanish diplomat also reminded that Spanish Tourism Agency had a stand at the tourism exhibition in Baku last year, adding that Spain plans to participate in the tourism exhibition in Baku next year as well.
Azerbaijan also participates in the tourism exhibition in Madrid, he said.
Answering the question on possibility of opening of Spanish Consulate in Baku, charge d'affaires noted that this issue was blocked due to acting government which Spain had for about a year. The new government was formed just a couple of weeks ago and the new team could consider this issue, he said. Meanwhile he noted that visas for visits to Spain could be obtained from French consulate in Baku within the existing intergovernmental agreement between Spain and France.
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