Baku, Azerbaijan - Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) is gearing up for an ambitious fleet growth to keep up with its route expansion plans.
Azerbaijan’s state-owned carrier has announced that it would add to its fleet more than 20 new-generation aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
AZAL already operates two Boeing 787-8 and five more will join the airline's long-haul fleet from next year.
In addition to current Dreamliners on order, two new Boeing 777s are also expected to arrive in 2021 and 2022 respectively. The arrival of 777s will mark the inclusion of a new aircraft type in the AZAL's fleet that was not operated by the airline before.
Azerbaijan's flag carrier aims to expand its route network remarkably until 2025 by launching new routes between Baku and major cities in Europe and Asia, including Delhi (India), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Vienna (Austria), Rome (Italy), Muscat (Oman) and Dushanbe (Tajikistan).
We are planning to further develop our relationship with Boeing and we are considering the acquisition of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners and three additional Boeing 777s. This would help expand our flight geography to long-haul destinations,
AZAL’s president Jahangir Askerov said.
According to Askerov, the airline is also in talks with Airbus for the purchase of ten Airbus A320neos and an unspecified number of A220 jets. AZAL expressed interest in the latter during the Dubai Air Show last month.
AZAL is considering both operational and financial leasing as the main financing mechanisms for its fleet expansion plans, the company said.
The airline was set to receive ten newly ordered Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets, but, due to the ongoing global grounding of the aircraft, the Azeri airline decided to push back their deliveries for five years.