Jul 23, 2013

State v. Armavia: Government sues “national carrier”

The government, as represented by the State Revenue Committee, filed a lawsuit against Armavia company for unpaid air taxes in mid spring, upon which the Administrative Court is starting a trial end of July. According to Datalex judicial information system, the plaintiff is demanding a compensation of 7.36 billion drams ($17.5 million) from Armenia’s national carrier which declared bankruptcy in early April.

On April 19, the court granted an injunction on the air company property and finances as motioned by the plaintiff. The preliminary court hearings were held in mid June and early July. Finance minister David Sargsyan stated during a parliament session that Armavia is indebted also to others, which in turn have filed respective lawsuits against the company.

The minister says the state has not done final calculation of the company’s obligations to the state.

In late March Armavia cancelled all its flights and started the bankruptcy process, but has not filed the bankruptcy petition to the court.

Earlier the company had publicized its debt and penalty lists, according to which it owes 5.5 billion drams (around $13.8 million) in air tax, and the penalty amounts to 16.2 billion drams (over $40.5 million). For two years since 2010 the national carrier was falling deeper into debts, totaling to 24.3 billion drams (around $60.7 million) it owes the state budget. The company, however, claims that only 7 billion drams from it is the actual debt, the other 17 billion are the result of penalties applied to it over a three-year period.

Armavia has submitted a ‘rehab’ program to the Public Council, which further submitted it to the government. The executive body has given no response so far.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan has signed the concept paper on the tender of Armenian airline licenses, which implies a selection of three Armenian carriers registered in Armenia. This way the government hopes to achieve a competitive field in the sphere of civil aviation. The chief executive has also approved a stage-by-stage liberalization policy for air transportation. A number of discussions have been held by the government, the Public Council and the General Department of Civil Aviation (adjunct to the RoA Government) to assess the prospects and the potential of developing the field.

Chief of the Civil Aviation department Artyom Movsesyan says various approaches have been suggested, that can be roughly grouped under three main objectives: have a state or partially state air carrier, the government should take up“open sky” liberalizationand stage-by-stage liberalization policies.

Source: armenianow.com

No comments:

Post a Comment