AZAL and KPMG discussed Open Skies project between Azerbaijan and Europe


November 6, Fineko/abc.az. The President of AZAL, Jahangir Asgarov met with representatives of KPMG Azerbaijan – Senior Managers, Farid Bakhshiyev and Andrey Ivanov.

The main topic of the negotiations was the details of Open Skies Agreement between Azerbaijan and Europe. By the order of the government of Azerbaijan, KPMG acts as a consultant on this project.

According to Jahangir Asgarov, there is a view that AZAL fears the consequences of signing the Open Skies Agreement with Europe. "I officially declare that there are no restrictions on flights to Azerbaijan for any airline. I will say more-foreign carriers are even provided with extended commercial rights of freedom of the air" - said the President of AZAL.

In particular, Azerbaijan is one of the few countries that provides to foreign airlines with the fifth (transit via Baku) and even the maximum eighth freedom of the air (the right to operate flights within the country).

"Once again I would like to mention that the airports of Azerbaijan are open to all airlines, we welcome all new air carriers in our market" - said Jahangir Asgarov.

According to Farid Bakhshiyev, Senior Manager at KPMG, an extensive analysis of international practice was carried out to determine the effect of Open Skies on the airline industry, recommendations and road map were prepared to mitigate the possible consequences of this project.

According to him, today AZAL has great achievements in the field of innovation, technology and international standards, and civil aviation is one of the key segments of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan.

It was noted that in order to prepare Open Skies Agreement for signature and ratification it took up to 10 years for European countries.

According to the results of negotiations, the parties agreed to continue joint work on the implementation of KPMG road map. The possibility of cooperation was also discussed with KPMG regarding risk management, investment strategy, assessment of the capitalization of enterprises, etc.

Currently, Heydar Aliyev International Airport serves 30 airlines on over 50 destinations. During the first nine months of 2018, capital's airport served 3.49 million passengers (10% more than last year). Taking into account the opening of new flights by the end of 2020, the priority task is to increase this figure up to 7 million passengers per year.

KPMG is one of the world's largest networks providing professional services in the field of audit and consulting, and the member of “Big Four”. KPMG has representative offices in 155 countries, and consists of more than 150 thousand employees.