Etihad Airways will launch scheduled flights between Abu Dhabi and Baku, Azerbaijan, effective 2nd March 2018.
The new route is being introduced to capitalise on the strong and growing demand for flights between the UAE and Azerbaijan. The service will operate three times a week using a 136-seat Airbus A320, configured with 16 seats in Business Class and 120 in Economy.
Azerbaijan introduced a visa waiver programme for UAE nationals in November 2015 and expanded it to other GCC nations in early 2016.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said, "The creation of the first ever air corridor linking the two capital cities demonstrates the importance of strengthening business, tourism and cultural ties between the UAE and Azerbaijan.
"The newest destination on Etihad Airways’ global network also reflects our commitment to linking Abu Dhabi with emerging markets that seek direct flights and onward connections to other parts of the world.
"Based on the growth witnessed in recent months from the UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries to Azerbaijan, we are confident that the new route will boost traffic from the UAE, and in turn we look forward to welcoming Azerbaijanis on our flights to Abu Dhabi and beyond."
Earlier this year, the UAE-Azerbaijan Joint Economic Committee said that both countries were to focus on nine key areas for bilateral cooperation, including air transport, tourism, communications, environment, water, agriculture, renewable energy, modern technology and industry. Non-oil trade between the two countries reached over US$605 million in 2015, increasing by US$228 million during the first nine months of 2016.