AZAL Azerbaijan All Business Class 727 Between Baku And Geneva

There are several airlines operating all business class configurations, from British Airways’ Club World London City service between New York and London, to La Compagnie’s new service between New York and Paris.

But here’s one I had never heard of until today, thanks to this amazing airliners.net trip report of the inaugural. And unfortunately it looks like it’s too late, since it has been discontinued already.

AZAL-Route

AZAL Azerbaijan operated an all business class 727 service twice per week between Baku and Geneva. Apparently it was the last ex-Northwest 727 still flying.

Silk-Way-727-1

The service began last month, on Friday, July 11, 2014, and operated Fridays and Sundays with the following schedule:

Baku to Geneva departing 7:55AM arriving 9:55AM
Geneva to Baku departing 11:15AM arriving 6:55PM

The flight was actually operated by Silk Way Business Aviation, and has one heck of a configuration, with only 65 business class seats.

Silk-Way-727-2

The business class seats were in a 2-2 configuration, but then they also had a VIP lounge upfront.

Silk-Way-727-3

Here’s a video of the takeoff and landing taken by someone that took the flight, which also has some cabin pictures in it:

While the route is still being flown, unfortunately the all business class configuration seems to be dead within a month. It’s now operated by an AZAL A319, featuring both a business and economy class cabin. Oh well.

Even so, what’s hilariously bizarre is that AZAL doesn’t actually sell tickets for this flight on their website. Instead you have to book through a third party online travel agency.

AZAL-Business-Class-727

I was almost tempted to book this flight until I realized it’s not all business class anymore. The 727 is a gorgeous plane, and this route just seemed so obscure. I always wonder the decision making process that goes into routes like this. It seems like it was really meant as a weekend getaway route, given the twice weekly Friday and Sunday service, and that even the press release talked about how you can “get away” for the weekend.

(Tip of the hat to David)

 

Comments

  1. Thought about giving it a shot in July, AZAL moved from 727 to A319 on Aug 1st, according to AZAL due to poor loads on the 727. Not surprising given the booking procedure. Prices were 750€ in C and 1800€ in F (more like a private salon), for a OW between GYD and GVA. And yes, it is a former Northwest 727, now with winglets and reg. 4K-8888. Would have loved to get that Donald Trump feeling…

  2. You missed the ads for this flight:

    “Looting the public’s resources, torturing dissidents, driving around in Bentleys – it gets so tedious, day in and day out, nothing but the same-old same-old accumulation of wealth on a Brobdingnagian scale.

    When you live in one of the world’s youngest kleptocracies, sometimes you feel you just have to get away from it all. What better destination than one of the world’s oldest democracies?

    Fly with us to Switzerland in our all-business class guzzlingly inefficient 727, fueled with Jet-A refined from pure Aizerbaijani crude. All business class means no evil eyes from the common plebians, an important consideration for today’s busy kleptocrat.

    Spend a relaxing weekend in beautiful Switzerland, experiencing its many delights. Relax in a luxurious hotel room, without having to worry about the morality police bursting in at an inopportune moment. Did we mention that prostitution is legal in Switzerland?

    Fly AZAL Aizerbaijan. Where you get off the from the moment you get on.”

  3. I never really enjoyed the 727, but then I almost always flew coach back then. I hated that the overhead bins were tiny and wouldn’t fit a standard size carry on. Maybe it had more to do with the usual SLC – ABQ – ELP route I usually found myself on…

  4. Having been to baku before your ad for this flight is perfect. Very rich and entitled super elite roam that city. The government is a joke and most of the FSU countries are now passing the leadership from father to son in a new dynasty of totalitarianism.

  5. Was on QR015 with only 10 other passengers on Saturday, DOH-LHR. Firstly, the new lounge at Hamad international is exceptional. Plenty of Krug! I’m sure His Excellency approved (finally). Secondly, amazing service on board. Most people were sleeping and I was the only one drinking but my glass never even got close to empty! Much much better than BA001…

  6. @ lucky – Yes, in the lounge. And it was only the business class lounge so god knows what they had in the first class one. Hamad international was ridiculous – the separate ‘premium’ check in area was better than Heathrow’s business class lounges. Worth a trip before it gets busy…

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