June 9 - Silk Way West Airlines, based in Azerbaijan, has inaugurated its first flight to the USA from its hub in Baku, utilising a Boeing 747-8 freighter.
The new weekly service started on May 27, 2015 from Heydar Aliyev International airport and touched down at New York JFK International airport. The service was described by the carrier as a "milestone for Azerbaijan-USA cargo aviation history and will bring two countries closer".
The small but ambitious all cargo airline has made great strides recently with regards to its fleet. Initially operating three Boeing 747-400 freighters, it took delivery of two brand new B747-8 aircraft during 2014, and subsequently ordered three more of Boeing's flagship freighter during March 2015.
Silk Way West now runs scheduled services to Asia and Europe including: daily flights to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Incheon; three flights a week to Dubai; plus regular services to European destinations including Frankfurt-Hahn, Milan, Malpensa, Stansted, Kiev and Istanbul.
Silk Way West's scheduled charters fly between Luxembourg and Shanghai with stops in Baku four times per week - also using its B747-8 freighters - which are ideal for the transport of out-of-gauge oil and gas equipment, due to its nose-loading capabilities and large cargo hold.
Silk Way West was born out of Azerbaijani carrier, Silk Way Airlines. The latter continues to operate a fleet of Ilyushins and Antonov AN-12s, while Silk Way West manages the Boeing freighter fleet.