President of CJSC Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) Jahangir Askerov met with Richard Forson, the President and CEO of Cargolux in Baku.
At the meeting both sides expressed satisfaction with the fruitful 17-year cooperation between the two airlines, which was established in 2001 with the operation of regular flights by Cargolux to / from Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Cooperation between the airlines was further strengthened after a contract was signed, within which, Cargolux delivered three Boeing 747-400F aircrafts to the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines from 2010 to 2014. Currently, the cooperation between the two airlines also includes maintenance of Boeing 747 aircrafts, crew training on simulators of this aircraft, etc.
According to Jahangir Askerov, today Azerbaijan's civil aviation has announced itself as the official air carrier of the Great Silk Road project connecting East and West. The use of new wide-bodied long-haul Boeing 747-8F aircraft, well-established in cargo transportation market, is an important part of implementation of this strategy.
At the same time, Jahangir Askerov expressed his concern regarding Boeing's potential decision to stop the production of Boeing 747-8F aircraft. In particular, there will be a need to purchase 20 Boeing 747-8F aircrafts for Azerbaijani civil aviation within the next 10 years. Therefore, Jahangir Askerov intends to make a request to Boeing Corporation to continue the production of this type of aircraft.
In turn, Richard Forson expressed satisfaction with the high quality of services provided at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport. He also agreed that the Boeing 747-8F aircraft proved itself in the world air cargo transportation market and there will also likely be a continuing need for such an aircraft type in the market.
The President of AZAL CJSC informed Mr Forson that, on his invitation, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Kevin McAllister, will pay a working visit to Baku in the coming weeks. An invitation was extended to Mr. Forson to participate in such a meeting regarding the future of wide-body freighter aircraft.
It should be noted that Silk Way Airlines operates regular flights to more than 20 destinations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. The Airline’s fleet consists of modern and capacious cargo aircrafts such as Boeing 747-8F and Boeing 747-400F.
Over the past 10 years, Heydar Aliyev International Airport has become a major logistics hub for air cargo transportation.