Mar 13, 2012

Armenian Airline, Airport ‘Settle’ Dispute

The Armenian government said on Tuesday that it has helped the Armavia national airline to settle a bitter financial dispute with Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport that threatened to disrupt flights to and from the country.

The dispute centers on Armavia’s $6.2 million debt to the airport incurred for ground services which the private carrier considers extremely expensive. Armavia’s owner, Mikhail Bagdasarov, last week threatened to file for bankruptcy unless an Argentine company managing Zvartnots cuts the service fees.

Bagdasarov claimed that some of those tariffs are two and even three times higher than at much larger airports in Russia and Europe. He gave the Zvartnots management until Tuesday to address his demands.

A spokeswoman for Armenia’s Civil Aviation Department told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( that the two sides reached a compromise agreement during two-day negotiations mediated by the department chief, Artyom Movsesian. “The two sides have reached an agreement and will operate on mutually beneficial conditions,” Nelli Cherchinian said.

In Cherchinian’s words, the settlement envisages “expedient conditions for Armavia to repay its debts and continue its operations.” “A clear timetable for debt repayment has been developed,” she said.

The official declined to specify whether Zvartnots agreed to lower its service fees. Neither the airport administration nor Armavia could be reached for comment.

The two companies already announced a compromise deal in March last year after the airport delayed several Armavia flights because of outstanding debts.


Zvartnots Airport makes concession to Armavia

Upon completion of meeting on March 13 between Zvartnots International Airport and Armavia Air Company through support of General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia (GDCA), it became clear that the company will further continue its activity, Nelly Cherchinyan, GDCA spokesperson said.
“Zvartnots made concessions, setting the debt repayment plan for the air company,” she told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, adding that Armavia will launch flights with no delay under the agreements reached.


Zvartnots, Armavia reached agreement

Talks between “Zvartnots” airport and “Armavia” Airlines Company are over in Civil Aviation Department (CAD). Spokesperson for CAD Nelly Cherchinyan told Zvartnots is prepared to compromise with Armavia’s requirements and the sides have reached a certain agreement.

N. Cherchinyan refused to introduce more details saying the sides have prepared debt payment schedule, and “Armenia” international airports have promised to compromise with Armavia. Armavia airlines agreed to hold regular flights.
Further information about the agreement is not yet revealed.

Armenian major airport and national carrier are to resume negotiations

The representatives of Armavia Company and Zvartnots airport will meet on Tuesday in order to discuss the situation and further steps towards Armavia’s demand to lower service charges, spokesperson of the General Department of Civil Aviation Nelli Cherchinyan told Armenian
She mentioned that currently all the flights of Armavia are carried out regularly. But it is not known what is to happen after tomorrow’s meeting. To note, the relations of Armavia company and Zvartnots airport deteriorated in the beginning of the month. Armavia declared a strike on March 6 explaining it with the service prices of the airport.
In its turn, “Armenia” International Airports Company stated that because of the accumulated debts, Armavia Company is prohibited to carry out flights toward Russia and enter Russian air space. Moreover, it negatively assesses Armavia Airline Company’s inappropriate exploitation and its unfounded and false comments, and regrets that solely the national carrier has found itself in such situation.


Mar 10, 2012

Armavia looks for buyer?

Owner of Armavia Airlines Mikhail Baghdasarov has lately announced that Armavia will declare bankruptcy unless Zvartnots Airport reduces service costs.
Aravot daily writes that a former civil aviation official has noted that “someone has his eye on this business.”
“If they say that there is a buyer for Armavia, I will be happy to sell it. Who wants to buy it? Show me that man,” said Baghdasarov.
The newspaper reminds readers that Armenian Airlines had declared bankruptcy due to large debts, and the consequences of that are still felt.

Armavia to declare bankruptcy

According to Hayatsk daily, Armavia has resumed flights but Mikhail Baghdasarov does not believe in the guarantees given by Zvartnots Airport. He is confident that the airport will make no concessions, because it pursues a single purpose: to get super-profit by setting high prices for flights and making the airlines bankrupt.
“Therefore, according to Baghdasarov, Armavia will declare bankruptcy soon,” writes the newspaper.

Mar 6, 2012

Rosaviatsia permits Armavia to resume flights to Russia

The Federal Russian Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) resumed servicing aircrafts of national airline of Armenia Armavia, allowing the company’s flights to Russia before March 20, 2012, the Russian agency’s official press release says.
Rosaviatsia noted that the agency received a letter of guaranteed dated March 6 from Armavia, with the latter pledging to repay part of the debt for last December at the amount of USD 178 thous. by March 20, 2012. The agency noted that servicing Armavia aircrafts was suspended following reiterated warnings of the company regarding the “necessity to pay for air navigation services of its aircrafts in Russian airspace,” reports.
Armavia Air Company declared strike today, March 6, spokesperson for the national carrier said.
“The strike is caused by the new pricing policy of Yerevan Zvartnots airport which raised the service rates,” Nana Avetisova told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.
Avetisova said all flights are cancelled until price review. Armenia International Airports CJSC already responded to the strike negatively assessing Armavia's “improper speculations and groundless and false comments”.
“Armavia Company cancelled flights from Yerevan to Moscow and Rostov at 6:45 am on March 6 informing the passengers that the flights are cancelled due to high prices specified by the airport. In this regard, we inform that unlike other air companies, Armavia enjoys privileges of our special rates as a national Armenian air carrier. Furthermore, according to a telegram received by Rosaviatsia, Armavia was banned from operating flights to Russia and enter Russia air space due to accumulated debts of the company. Apparently, Armavia considers not only Armenian but also Russian tariffs to be too high for the company,” the statement said.


National carrier Armavia resumes flights

Armavia Air Company has resumed operation. According to Armenia International Airports CJSC, Armavia reached an agreement with the Federal Russian Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) regarding the company’s debts.
On Tuesday, March 6, RA General Department of Civil Aviation hosted a meeting between representatives of Armenia International Airports CJSC and Armavia Air Company. A decision was taken to hold another meeting on coming Tuesday.
“Hopefully, both passengers of Armavia and other airline companies will be serviced properly,” Armenia International Airports CJSC message says.


Short Grounding: Armavia stages delay, aviation department steps in

Armavia, Armenia’s “national carrier” airline, went on a short-lived strike today, in protest of what it called unfair administrative fees at Yerevan’s Zvartnot’s International Airport, while Armenia International Airports company says that Armavia is grounded because of outstanding debts that prohibit it from making flights to Russia.

Armavia launched the strike early this morning, halting three flights (two to Moscow and one to Rostov).

Armenia’s General Department of Civil Aviation and airline representatives called a quick meeting and in less than two hours, Armavia had called off the strike as sides in the dispute agreed to negotiate a settlement in the coming weeks.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, passengers enroute to Moscow and to Rostov are being boarded for continuation of their delayed flights.

“All flights were cancelled, but as of now we have resumed the works and our further actions will be clear next Tuesday, by the end of the negotiations,” says Armavia Aviation Company’s press secretary Nana Avetisova.

Gevorg Abrahamyan, Spokesman for Armenia International Airports Company has reported earlier that Armavia Company, being a national means of transportation, unlike other aviation companies enjoys the special tariffs defined by Armenia International Airports Company.

“Moreover, according to the telegram received by the Rosnavigation Organization, Armavia Company’s flights to Russia and its entrance to the air territory of Russia are banned due to its debts. Most probably the tariffs not only in Armenia but also in Russia are too high for the aviation company,” Abrahamyan says adding that the flights carried out by other companies are not halted and are uninterrupted.

Armavia Company carries out about 500 flights monthly, and their number reaches 700 monthly in summer.


Striking Armenian airline company refuses to accept tickets back

Those passengers, who were to use Armavia Airline Company’s services from Armenian capital Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport on Tuesday morning, are unable to leave the Airport, and they have not even been registered.   
They told Armenian that the Airport staff informed them that Armavia is not conducting flights because of the Airport’s raising of the prices. And they did not announce as to when Armavia’s flights will resume.   
And with respect to Armavia Press Secretary Nana Avetisova’s announcement that the waiting passengers will receive food and water, the passengers collectively noted that they had not received anything.  
At present, Zvartnots and Armavia representatives are conducting talks. 
According to preliminary data, three Armavia flights are postponed so far.
Also, the Armavia office is refusing to accept back the passengers’ tickets and is advising them to return the tickets to the tourism agencies.    
In her turn, Armavia Airline Company’s Press Secretary Nana Avetisova informed that they have a problem solely with Zvartnots, and not with the Russian companies. 
And after the uproar which the news reporters raised, Nana Avetisova informed that they have ordered water and food for the waiting passengers.
To note, Armavia Airline Company’s Press Secretary Nana Avetisova had told Armenian that the Company declared a strike. She also informed that the strike will continue unless Zvartnots Airport changed its price policy. And the “Armenia” International Airports Company released a statement in response to the strike which the Armavia Airline Company announced on Tuesday morning. “The Armavia Airline Company today halted its service to the Yerevan-Moscow and Yerevan-Rostov flights, and announced to the passengers that the service is halted because of the [Armenian capital Yerevan’s Zvartnots International] Airport’s high prices. Being the national carrier, Armavia Company benefits from our company’s special prices. Furthermore, [and] because of the accumulated debts, Armavia Company is prohibited to carry out flights toward Russia and enter Russian air space. Our company negatively assesses Armavia Airline Company’s inappropriate exploitation and [its] unfounded and false comments, and regrets that solely the national carrier has found itself in such situation,” the “Armenia” International Airports Company’s statement specifically read.