Future of Civil Aviation of Armenia is still uncertain

Future of Civil Aviation of Armenia is still uncertain

The process of creating the new 'Armenia' airline, is currently under way in Armenia. Ashot Torosyan, Robert Oganesyan and Tamaz Gaiashvili are engaged in it, they own 51%, 25% and 24% of its shares.

According to the plans of the owners of the airline, its main fleet will consist of 'Boeings' of different models - 737-700, 737-800 and 737-500. In April, the balance of the airline will have three aircraft, taken on lease. In June or July the fleet will add two more aircraft, and by the end of the year it will reach eight aircraft.

The entrepreneurs claim that their 23-year experience of survival in difficult conditions will help them to raise Armenian aviation and survive in the Armenian skies for many years. They justify this by saying that the decision to create the 'Armenia' airline was made a few years ago, and the new company is supported by the government.

However, the former head of the Central Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia, Shahen Petrosyan, does not share their optimism. He believes that this project will not be able to survive in the Armenian skies for long, since it appeared out of nowhere and will go nowhere.

His main complaint is directed against the founders of the airline. "They are not credible. They do not even have their own aircraft depot, and who will be responsible for the airplanes? Recall the Yerevan-Sochi flight, when the aircraft of 'Armavia' crashed. All the blame fell on the pilot, and the case was hushed up," Sputnik Armenia quotes him as saying.

The former head of the Central Department of Civil Aviation reminded that at one time he proposed creating an airline with 3 or 4 aircraft. In this case, the costs would have amounted to 50 million dollars. "This amount is enough for the start. And if the airline will buy fuel at reasonable prices, and not at those speculative, that are offered by 'Zvartnots' airport, the ticket from Yerevan to Europe will cost about 400 dollars, to Moscow - 200 dollars, Tehran - 150 dollars," he assured.

According to the expert, Armenia should also abandon the failed policy of 'open skies' that has not resulted in anything good.

"The 'open skies' policy is a bluff. It can only exist if you're in one alliance with several countries, as happens in the EU. I propose creating such an alliance with Georgia, Ukraine and Iran, and then carrying out this policy," Petrosyan said.

He also noted the fact that, as soon as the media reported about the new air carrier, Russian lowcoster 'Pobeda' appeared on the horizon. It reminded the former head of the Central Department of Civil Aviation about the story of 'Aeroflot' and 'Armavia'. The latter, unable to withstand the competition, went bankrupt. Then, the Air Armenia company entered the aviation market of Armenia, which was on the verge of bankruptcy and suspended flights in October 2014.