Review of transport sector in Azerbaijan (January-March 2014)

The following interesting events took place in Azerbaijan's transport sector in March 2014:

- Two regional airports in Azerbaijan - Lankaran and Zaqatala received an international status, according to the Cabinet of Ministers' decision on amending the charter and structure of Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC. Gabala International Airport was included in the structure of the closed joint stock company in accordance with the decision of the Azerbaijani government.

-The Azerbaijani parliament approved an agreement on the international automobile communication between the Azerbaijani and Polish governments. Its articles regulate international passenger and freight transport transited by vehicles through Azerbaijan and Poland or the third countries.

- Direct flights from Azerbaijan to the U.S. may be opened in summer or autumn this year. There has been certification granted by Federal Aviation Agency to allow Azerbaijani airlines to fly to the United States, the U.S. Ambassador in Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar said.

- Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran are considering the possibilities of connecting their railways, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov said after the meeting of the three countries' foreign ministers in Van (Turkey). The issue of connecting Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) and Nakhchivan-Julfa-Tabriz railways was also discussed during the meeting of Azerbaijani, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers, according to the minister.

The Azerbaijani transport sector transported 49.2 million tons of cargo in January-March 2014 or by 1.5 percent more than in the same period of 2013, according to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee's report as of the first quarter of 2014.

Around 73.6 percent of the total volume of goods transported in January-March fell to the private sector.

Some 53.1 percent of all cargo were transported by vehicles, 32.3 percent - by pipelines, 9.7 percent - by railway and 4.9 percent - by ships.

Some 414.2 million people used passenger transport in January-March, which is 6.2 percent more than in the same period of 2013. Most of the passengers were transported by vehicles (87.2 percent) and metro (12.6 percent).

Automobile transport takes the lion share in the transport field of the country. Some 26.1 million tons of cargo were transported by vehicles, which is 4 percent more than in January-March 2013. The volume of passenger traffic exceeded 361.3 million people (a 6.5 percent growth). Some 96.2 percent of the passengers were transported by buses and 3.8 percent - by cars.

Freight turnover by vehicles increased by 4.1 percent during the reporting period, while passenger turnover - by 7.2 percent.

Some 4.8 million tons of cargo were transported by railway in January-March compared to 5.5 million tons in the same period of 2013.

The number of loaded carriages made up 541, in average per day and unloaded - 536. Average daily load of carriages in the northern direction is 21,000 tons and in western direction 5,900 tons and southern direction - 4,300 tons.

Around 2.4 million tons of cargo were transported by ships in the first quarter compared to 3.2 million tons in January-March 2013. All cargo accounted for international operations. The volume of goods handled in Azerbaijani ports amounted to 3.1 million tons in January-March.

Some 61.2 percent of cargo shipping fell to oil and oil products, while 38.8 percent on dry cargo. The volume of international transit cargo handled in the ports hit 87.7 percent. As of April 1, around 33,200 tons of cargo left in the ports for import.

Some 11.5 million tons of oil (a 7.6 percent increase) were transported via main oil pipelines in January-March. During this period, 75 percent or 8.6 million tons of oil were transported via the BTC (data provided by the State Statistics Committee). Sangachal terminal transported 1.4 million tons of Turkmen oil via BTC in January-March.

Gas transportation via main gas pipelines made up 6.2 billion cubic meters (a 13.2 percent increase) in January-March. Some 26 percent of the transported gas fell to the South Caucasus Pipeline. Some 1.6 billion cubic meters of gas were transported via this pipeline.

Some 359,000 passengers were transported by air transport in January-March which is 2.6 percent more than in the same period of 2013. Some 0.3 percent of shipment by this kind of transport fell to private sector.

Some 52 million people were transported by metro (a 4 percent growth) compared to January-March 2013.

Some 8.9 million tons of cargo were transported through the Eurasian transport corridor TRACECA (Europe-Caucasus-Asia) through the territory of Azerbaijan in January-February 2014 compared to 9.7 million tons in January-February 2013, the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee said.

Around 52 percent of the total volume of transported cargo fell to vehicles, 31.3 percent - railway and 16.7 percent - ships.

Some 49.8 million people were transported through the corridor in January-February, which is 7.8 percent more than in the same period of 2013.

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