I recently flew on Azerbaijan Airlines A320 from Dubai to Baku to join on a unique cargo flight of Silk Way IL-76:
Here are the pictures of my flight onboard Azerbaijan AIrlines (AZAL).
The A320 has 20 Business Class and 110 Economy Class seats. The leg room is more than enough in Business Class (Estimate 50" pitch) but it does not go fully flat.
A full "course by course" lunch is on the menu. There are 4 main course choices on this short sector.
The airline serves locally sourced wine from Azerbaijan.
I received a full tray of appetizers, nuts, salad, cheese and a choice of bread.
The flight was only about half full. Azerbaijan Airlines is facing some tough low-cost competition on the UAE route, competing with FlyDubai, Air Arabia etc.
The meals in Economy Class are impressive. A full tray of food with eggplant salad, beef pasta or chicken with barley and a cake.
I found the portion of food on AZAL is more generous than even most long-haul flights.
The clear weather gave away to overcast and windy weather over the Caspian Sea. The sea is quite choppy with a lot of waves on our final approach to Baku. It is known as quite a windy city as it is on the Caspian Sea.
After landing, I was picked up by my friend Samir from Silk Way Airlines.
Azerbaijan Airlines seems like an old-school government airline that still provides good catering and decent full service on their flights. They are boutique in size but have quite a large type of fleet including A319, A320, B757, B767, B787 and A340-500. The airline hasn't fully tapped into the good location of Azerbaijan, by offering a good network between the East and West to transit through Baku. The non-stop New York to Baku flight has been suspended.
Here are some Pros and Cons I observed from my flight experience with them:
- Good food and full service.
- Good infrastructure at Baku Airport.
- Not in an alliance and offer a limited transit network through Baku.
- No Wi-Fi onboard.
In 2016, I flew on their A340-500 which is now the World's Last Active A340-500 in service. Take a look at the trip report: