Azerbaijan Airlines plans ambitious network and fleet expansion, and a second LCC subsidiary

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) is planning to pursue major expansion over the next few years as the former Soviet republic emerges as a tourist destination and potential transit hub. A large part of the growth will be under low cost subsidiaries; AZALJET was established as an LCC brand in Mar-2016 and already serves 15 international destinations, and the group is planning to launch Buta Airways as a second LCC by the end of 2017.

AZAL plans to expand its network from 27 international destinations currently to 33 by the end of 2018 as Amsterdam, Bangkok, Dushanbe, New Delhi, Tashkent and Warsaw are added. Fleet expansion includes two additional E190s in 2017 and 10 737 MAX aircraft from 2018.

The government owned airline has ample opportunities for growth, but should simplify its fleet and adjust its multi brand model to focus on a single LCC. The fleet currently consists of 24 aircraft spread across eight types and two (soon three) brands.

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