East Zangazur Economic Corridor Opens New International Airport
Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkiye attend ceremony of strategically important transport route
The East Zangazur economic region of what is now partially controlled by Azerbaijan has opened a new international airport at Zangilan, and is intended to become the logistics center for the East Zangazur region.
The Zangazur corridor is a transportation route that is being developed as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, during which Armenia lost control of territory and ceded territory to Azerbaijan after mediation involving Russia and Turkiye. The development of the region is still a contentious issue, with Armenia claiming that the corridor deviates from the ceasefire statement trilaterally signed at the end of that war.
In reality, the positioning is highly strategic, as coming under Azerbaijan’s control, it gives Azerbaijan unimpeded access to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic without Armenian checkpoints, via Armenia’s Syunik Province and provides a geopolitical corridor that connects Turkiye directly to Azerbaijan and thus “re-uniting it” with the Turkic world. The concept has been increasingly promoted by Azerbaijan and Turkey since the end of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, while Armenia has steadily objected to it. The route across what remains Armenia’s Syunik Province is manned by Russian, not Armenian security to prevent further conflict.
The development of an international airport at Zangilan is an additional, significant step that will increase Azeri-Turkish trade and enable further reconstruction and development of the Nagorno-Karabakh region – which was heavily damaged during the war.
The Zangazur Corridor plays a crucial role in increasing regional connectivity — not only throughout Caucasia, but also across greater Eurasia, joining Turkish, Russian, Central Asian, Iranian and Armenian territories and linking Europe to Asia. It provides a new link for Turkiye to access Azerbaijan’s Caspian Seaport at Baku, giving it access to the Middle Corridor to Central Asia and China as well as to Iran’s INSTC and connectivity to the Middle East, East Africa, India and South Asia.
The new runway of the Zangilan International Airport is capable of receiving all types of passenger and cargo aircraft, while the airport terminal can process 200 passengers per hour. The facility meets the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organization and International Air Transport Association.
The opening of the Zangilan International Airport took place yesterday, (October 20) and was attended by both Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Türkiye.