"It is cheaper to fly to Istanbul from Yerevan": Azerbaijani MPs complain about expensive tickets
“A flight from Yerevan to Istanbul is already operating, and, in our money, it costs 80 manats [about $ 47]. I am waiting for the opening of the Zangezur corridor, I will go to Yerevan by car, and from there I will fly to Istanbul”. This the statement of MP Agil Abbas, which he made during the discussion of the draft law “On Tourism” in the Azerbaijani parliament. Members of the Milli Mejlis complained about the high cost of air tickets.
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The bill “On tourism” was discussed in the Azerbaijani parliament today. Some MPs listed the factors that hinder the development of tourism in the country. Many of them drew attention to the expensive flight tickets.
MP Agil Abbas said many MPs expressed their views on this matter:
“But will AZAL lower prices? No, it won’t. A flight from Yerevan to Istanbul is already operating and in our money it costs 80 manats [about $ 47]. I am waiting for the opening of the Zangezur corridor, I will go to Yerevan by car, and from there I will fly to Istanbul.
This issue must be taken seriously. The words of the deputies remain in the air. Maybe we will not return to this question, if no one listens to us `and let AZAL will continue to raise prices”.
“In order to stay for two days and one night in our hotels, I have to spend my monthly salary. The issue of prices must be resolved unequivocally. I ask the speaker of the parliament to intervene in this matter”, Abbas summed up his words.
According to MP Musa Guliyev, the conservative visa system remains one of the barriers to the development of tourism in the country:
“Only citizens of 10 countries can come to Azerbaijan without visas. At the same time, in Georgia this number is 100, in Uzbekistan – more than 80, Kazakhstan – more than 70, in Turkey – more than 90”.
“On the other hand, there are unfavorable market conditions. Air fares also hinder the arrival of tourists. Unfavorable market conditions do not allow for expanding flight routes, attracting low-cost airlines and increasing the number of flights.
Despite the existence of several international airports in Azerbaijan, they are not used to create direct air links.
The third reason is the disadvantage for tourists of the infrastructure of land border checkpoints. In order to meet the needs of tourists, to increase their number, it is necessary to organize the issuance of visas there, reduce the waiting time, optimize the border crossing procedure, attract more human and technical resources”, said Musa Guliyev.
“We have repeatedly raised the issue of the high cost of air tickets. In this issue, we are losing to Georgia and other countries. If we lose, then there will be no competition. Coming here from other countries and departing from here turned into torment”, said another MP Fazil Mustafa.
The chairman of the parliamentary committee of culture Ganira Pashayeva also drew attention to the unprecedentedly high cost of air tickets:
“Why is a flight from fraternal Turkey to other countries cheaper in comparison with Azerbaijan? It is not related to Turkey. This is due to the relevant organizations in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s conservative visa system also discourages visitors.
At regional airports, we must apply lower prices for international flights. There are tourists who cross our borders by land. Simplified procedures also need to be introduced there.
I was recently in Uzbekistan. There they told me that they could get to Azerbaijan in 10 hours. In other words, coming to Azerbaijan turned into a trip to America. The issues of tourism development must be approached in a comprehensive manner”.