AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines (J2, Baku Heydar Aliev International) will discontinue its Buta Airways low-cost brand in October 2023, replacing it with a new no-frills fare class.

"All Buta Airways flights will be offered under the single AZAL brand with the same affordable prices as they are currently available but with a superior level of service," the Azerbaijani flag carrier said adding it would upgrade its product on full-service AZAL fares while adding a new class equivalent to the current Buta Airways LCC product.

Buta Airways was launched in 2016 as a brand with seven E190s operated by the Azeri carrier currently sporting its unique livery (an eighth was painted back into AZAL's livery in late May 2023). All eight Embraer regional jets, however, continue to fly Buta Airways-marketed routes.

The airline's first vice-president, Samir Rzayev, recently told ch-aviation AZAL was still evaluating the E190s' future but had not decided on a timeline for their retirement as yet. The airline did not respond to ch-aviation's query as to whether all the E190s would be reincorporated into AZAL's fleet post Buta Airways.

AZAL does not operate any other regional jets. Its mainline fleet currently comprises three A319-100s, six A320-200s, three A320-200N, two inactive A340-500s, one B757-200, three B767-300ERs, one inactive B777-200(LR), and two B787-8s, according to the ch-aviation fleets module.

AZAL said detailed information about the merger of the brands would follow in due course.