Russia increases number of flights to Baku, accuses Azerbaijan of arresting its planes
Flights from Russia to Azerbaijan
Immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine, the Russian authorities decided to suspend flights of Aeroflot aircraft to Azerbaijan. About three weeks later, the decision was reversed, but the Russian government accused the Azerbaijani authorities of arresting its airships. Azerbaijan has expressed its perplexity over the matter.
- Fuel prices hit record high in Georgia
- Leader of Russian opposition Navalny sentenced to 9 years in prison
- “Gas pipeline from Armenia to Khankendi is illegal” – comment from Baku
Russia’s statement and Azerbaijan’s response
Almost 80 planes of Russian airlines were arrested abroad due to anti-Russian sanctions, Interfax reported citing the words of the head of the Russian Ministry of Transport, Vitaly Savelyev.
“We had a total of 1,367 thousands of aircraft in the country (before the sanctions – IF). We lost 78 aircraft, they were arrested during our flights”, Savelyev said during a meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy.
“The liners were also arrested by countries friendly to the Russian Federation – Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia”, he said.
This statement was received with perplexity by the government of Azerbaijan.
“The statement made by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation about the arrest of Russian aircraft in Azerbaijan does not reflect reality and is surprising”. This was stated in the press service of the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of Azerbaijan in response to a request from Trend.
“There was no arrest of aircraft belonging to the Russian Federation in Azerbaijan. We call on the relevant Russian organizations to refute this false information”, the department noted.
While we were preparing this material for publication, the Russian Ministry of Transport apologized to the Azerbaijani side for “reservation”.
“Planes of Russian airlines were not arrested in Azerbaijan. This information was wrong. We apologize to our colleagues from the Republic of Azerbaijan”, the Russian Ministry of Transport said.
Flight prices have skyrocketed
During the period of the ban on flights of Aeroflot aircraft to Azerbaijan, it was possible to get from Moscow to Baku only by UTair aircraft. Flights operated once a day.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani air carriers have also suspended flights to Russian cities. The Azerbaijani state company AZAL explained this decision by insurance risks, as flights in Russian airspace are not insured by Western companies.
Aeroflot will resume flights to Baku in the coming days. Despite the fact that flights will be operated daily, ticket prices have already skyrocketed.
Before the start of the war in Ukraine, a flight from Baku to Moscow and back cost passengers 205 US dollars.
JAMnews checked the price for the Moscow-Baku-Moscow flight for mid-April. A ticket with luggage costs about $470. This means that prices have more than doubled.
“Flights connecting Russia with Azerbaijan are in high demand. This is due to the presence of a huge Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia, as well as the fact that there are simply no other means of transport for ordinary people due to quarantine measures. It is impossible to get to Azerbaijan by cars and trains from Russia.
In the early days of Western sanctions against Russia, when Aeroflot announced the suspension of flights to Baku, the price of one ticket to the capital of Azerbaijan in Moscow reached $3,500. This is, in my memory, a record amount for one flight.
The statements of the Russian side about the arrest of planes at the Baku airport do not stand up to scrutiny. Russian airlines fly to Azerbaijan exclusively on their own aircraft, or those that do not belong to Western leasing companies. Everyone remembers the story of the plane which was supposed to land in Yerevan, but at the last moment flew to the Mineralnye Vody. I do not think that Russian airlines would send aircraft to Baku under the risk of arrest.
Regarding the restoration of Aeroflot flights, today I’ve read in the Russian press a message about the resumption of flights on old Il-86 and Il-96 aircraft. This is a risky undertaking. The IL-86 has long been out of production, and these aircraft have not been flown for the past 10 years or so. Personally, I would not dare to take such a plane.
As for the prices for flights, this is an elementary law of economics – the demand is very high, and this affects the cost of the ticket. Let’s also not forget that Russian aviation is going through the most difficult times in its entire history, and it is trying to earn money on literally everything”, Azerbaijani expert Veli Mammadli commented on the situation with the flights of Russian airlines to Baku.