Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) said that the cooperation of aviation and tourism during the pandemic was discussed in Baku, Report informs.
AZAL President Jahangir Asgarov, Vice President Eldar Hajiyev, Chief of Air Transport Sales Department Niyazi Hasanov, Chairman of the State Tourism Agency Fuad Nagiyev, Director General of the Azerbaijan Tourism Bureau Florian Zengstshmid, Chairman of the Association of Travel Agencies of Azerbaijan Rufat Hajiyev and Chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association Ahmad Gurbanov attended.
The main topic was the development of tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic and civil aviation's role in it. Besides, in an online conference with the heads of leading tourism companies in Azerbaijan, their proposals were heard.
Askerov said that the civil aviation and tourism sectors are currently in a tough situation. Since March 15, more than 23,000 of our compatriots have been flown home by 239 international flights. Also, AZAL continues to operate charter flights per the Operational Headquarters' schedule under the Cabinet of Ministers.
During the gathering, Nagiyev noted that the tourism industry is currently experiencing the most profound crisis in its history. The recovery of this sector will occur in a highly competitive environment at the regional and global levels, so all subjects need to be involved in the decision-making process. In this case, the reaction must be fast, dynamic, and efficient. One of the most critical factors that can help this recession is the possibility of tourists coming to the country. In conclusion, Jahangir Asgarov said that during the pandemic, AZAL and some foreign airlines began to operate select international flights to the most popular destinations - Istanbul, London, Berlin, Dubai, and Minsk. For Azerbaijani students, a 30% discount on the cost of air tickets on flights.
Due to the extension of the quarantine regime, all airports in Azerbaijan are closed. However, AZAL talks with several countries, including Russia, to launch special flights.
The President of AZAL said that taking into account the wishes of tourism companies, Azerbaijan's national carrier will open offline sales for direct agents through the Global Distributor System (GDS) from August 1. According to Askerov, the primary source of income for tour operators should be not only the sale of air tickets but also ready-made tourist packages, as in the rest of the world. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to domestic tourism development in the post-pandemic period, and AZAL will make our country more accessible to foreign tourists.