Direct flights from Azerbaijan to the U.S. may be opened in summer or autumn this year, the U.S. Ambassador in Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar told journalists on March 18.
"There has been certification granted by Federal Aviation Agency to allow Azerbaijani airlines to fly to the United States," the ambassador said.
He said there still have to be a few safety inspections, which should not be a problem.
"I am extremely optimistic that there will be flights this year. I think this is one more area that shows cooperation between Azerbaijan and the United States. I think we should not forget all the areas that we in fact do cooperate together and make progress," Morningstar added.
In early March after its International Aviation Safety Assessment, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ranked Azerbaijan in category 1 for aviation safety; this will permit Azerbaijani air carriers to initiate direct flights to the U.S.
FAA determined that Azerbaijani State Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) is effectively fulfilling its safety oversight obligations as a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization in all eight critical elements.
This determination was made following a Technical Review mission to Azerbaijan conducted by an FAA team and subsequent comprehensive technical discussions with the SCAA in December 2013 and January 2014 to review the progress that SCAA made.