Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and IATA Consulting have reaffirmed their long-standing relationship, Report informs, citing AZAL.

An MoU outlining further areas of cooperation was signed by AZAL’s First Vice-President Samir Rzayev and IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh on the sidelines of the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting in Istanbul. Projects currently being considered by AZAL center on improving the efficiency of airport and airline processes.

“Aviation is a major contributor to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, hence, strengthening the air transport sector in Azerbaijan will positively contribute to the country’s development. The cooperation between IATA and AZAL will help realize the potential for social and economic development by focusing on global standards and best practices”, said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.

The project covers the 2023–2030 network and fleet planning, including detailed schedules for 2023–2027 and a high-level network plan for 2028–2030. In parallel, AZAL’s current fleet planning is being reviewed, including adjustments and recommendations, particularly on phase-in and phase-out dates per aircraft type. The project also includes a fuel efficiency aspect, where IATA is reviewing potential fuel savings both from operations and from better purchasing strategies.

Samir Rzayev, First Vice-President of AZAL CJSC, said: “We highly appreciate the partnership with IATA and are confident that our cooperation will open up new opportunities for the development of the country’s aviation industry. IATA Consulting specialists will be involved in process optimization projects at airports and in the airline, such as fleet planning, improving fuel efficiency, ensuring compliance with EASA requirements, as well as many others.”

IATA is also assisting AZAL in becoming EASA compliant. Azerbaijan, as a country, is looking at adopting the EASA framework for its own national regulations. As such, AZAL is required to prepare for the adoption of the EASA framework. This includes defining and implementing a Safety Management System (SMS), a Compliance Monitoring function, and Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) in line with the EASA’s regulations. IATA will have the above areas reviewed independently and will also provide guidance to AZAL for their implementation.