People, Travel

Rasht-Baku Direct Flight Proposed

Rasht-Baku Direct Flight ProposedRasht-Baku Direct Flight Proposed

Iran is interested in opening a direct flight between Rasht and the Azeri capital Baku, according to Mohammad Ali Najafi, the governor general of Gilan Province of which Rasht is the capital.

He made the proposal at the 5th International Exhibition of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baku, Azerbaijan (November 17-19), Trend news agency reported.

Najafi said this would help expand ties between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan in the sphere of tourism.

“There is great potential for developing cooperation between Gilan Province and Azerbaijan in tourism,” said the governor. “We are interested in opening a flight between Baku and Rasht which will let us increase travel and tourism between the two states.”

Moreover, there is a potential for developing maritime tourism between the Anzali Port and Baku by transporting tourists through the Caspian Sea, according to Najafi.

He said that Gilan province has great export potential.

 “We have the opportunity to export subtropical fruits, cement and other goods to Azerbaijan.  Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has the opportunity to export goods to Gilan.”

Najafi noted that in order to develop trade and tourism, first of all, it is necessary to ease  border crossing procedures between the two countries.

“As you know, before, those living in border areas were able to easily cross the border in both directions,” he said. “But for traveling to other Iranian cities such as Tabriz and Tehran, it was necessary to obtain a visa.”

“Iran has canceled the visa regime for Azerbaijan. Therefore, we would like Azerbaijan to simplify the visa regime as well,” said Najafi. “This will allow us to develop tourism relations and trade.”

The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran stood at $86.4 million in the January-September 2015 period, according to Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee.