Founded in 2001, air cargo carrier Silk Way Airlines provides cost-effective solutions for a range of freight transportation needs and has extensive experience in deliveries to areas not accessible by scheduled flights. The airline works with governments and private sector clients from all over the world to provide solutions to any request, no matter how complex. In many cases, Silk Way Airlines crews have carried out the delivery of special and critical cargo, as well as outsize goods, to regions completely cut off from the road network and to airfields with poor or virtually nonexistent infrastructure, without ground support and equipment for loading and unloading operations. The airline's operations staff have gained valuable experience in planning the transportation of large volumes of oversized cargo with minimal flight connections.
The carrier is part of the dynamically developing Silk Way Group, which occupies a leading position in the Azerbaijani economy. The group was reorganized into three companies in 2019 – Silk Way Airlines, Silk Way West Airlines and Silk Way Technics, providing air cargo transportation and aircraft maintenance services.
Over the last 20 years, Silk Way Airlines aircraft have landed at hundreds of airports around the world, and its personnel gained experience in organizing flights to more than 130 countries. During this period, the carrier completed over 63,000 flights covering 70 million nautical miles, with an overall flight time of over 187,000 flight hours.
The carrier’s growing route network covers multiple destinations across Europe, the CIS, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Asia, and North and South America.
The first international Silk Way Airlines cargo flight was operated by an IL-76 4K-AZ19 aircraft on the Baku-Le Bourget-Bagram route in October 2001. This was the first civilian flight to Afghanistan since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Silk Way Airlines currently operates five Ilyushin cargo aircraft, including two IL-76TD-90 type planes equipped with PS-90A engines compliant with the ICAO Annex 16 Chapter 4 noise standard. Thanks to advanced cargo compartment equipment, Ilyushin freight planes are the optimal solution for the transportation of bulky, high-value or dangerous goods, as well as oil and gas equipment, self-propelled equipment and outsize cargo. Today, the airline has 50 pilots and 170 co-pilots and other aircrew members at its disposal. The most experienced amongst Silk Way Airlines pilots has completed 28,000 flight hours.
The airline's flight operators have 20 years of successful experience in the transportation of heavy, oversized and valuable cargo. The company has particular expertise in the transportation of mono-cargoes, notably the transportation of a rotor turbine weighing over 40 tons. Over the past two decades, the carrier has transported over 600k tons of freight.