Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) plans a major increase in its services to Saudi Arabia and has started negotiations to operate flights from the small Caucasian nation to four cities.
These are in addition to recently announced weekly AZALflights from Baku to the Saudi capital of Riyadh and the eastern provincial capital of Dammam, both of which will start in June. Both cities will be served by Airbus A320s.
The flag carrier said talks are underway with Saudi authorities for the start of regular flights from the Azerbaijani capital of Baku to Medina, Jeddah (from May 18), the central city of Gassim (June 15), and the northwestern city of Hail (July 1).
Frequencies and equipment for services the other four cities have not yet been finalized.
The new destinations are intended to attract both business and leisure travelers. An important component of the new services to Medina, which lies close to the two holiest shrines in the Muslim faith, will be religious pilgrims. Azerbaijan is a largely Muslim nation.