As you guys know, I’m a huge fan of seeking out routes that others may find to be a bit unusual. For example, looking at New York JFK alone, I’d say my three most “unusual” flights out of the airport have been on AZAL Azerbaijan to Baku, on Uzbekistan Airways to Tashkent, and on Pakistan Airlines from Manchester.
PIA canceled their flight from Manchester a while back, and now another one of these routes will be discontinued.
Azerbaijan Airlines will discontinue their route between Baku and New York as of September 30, 2019. This is their only flight to the US, so it also means that they’re discontinuing service to the US altogether.
The route currently operates 2x weekly with the following schedule on Saturdays and Mondays:
J2101 Baku to New York departing 5:00AM arriving 9:30AM
J2102 New York to Baku departing 11:30AM arriving 6:30AM (+1 day)
Azerbaijan uses a Boeing 787-8 for the route. The airline has two of these in their fleet, each featuring 210 seats, including 18 business class seats, 35 premium economy seats, and 157 economy seats.
Azerbaijan Airlines 787 business class
Azerbaijan Airlines 787 premium economy
As is the case with many airlines operating to New York, the route just seems to have not been as profitable as the airline had hoped. Azerbaijan Airlines launched this route in November 2015, so it looks like it lasted for just under four years.
One of the things that made this flight interesting was that for a long time the country granted special visa privileges to visitors taking this flight. While you otherwise needed to arrange a visa through a consulate, taking this flight allowed you to get a visa on arrival in Baku. Since my visit a few years ago the country has eased entry requirements so this is no longer the case, though I did always find that to be interesting.
If you’re curious what this very interesting flight is like, read my review of Azerbaijan’s 787 business class from New York to Baku.
I’ll be sad not to occasionally see Azerbaijan Airlines 787s at JFK anymore. They have one of the coolest liveries in the world, in my opinion.
Are you surprised to see AZAL cutting their JFK flight?
(Tip of the hat to Tim)