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Armenia's national air carrier Armavia plans to boost passenger traffic by 13% after it opens five new flights, reported Mikhail Baghdasarov, president of the company. "This is a considerable growth, taking into account that airlines across the world have been hard hit by reducing passenger traffic," he said Tuesday during the celebration of the Aviation Day. Last year Armavia's passenger traffic reached 572,300 (21% year-on-year increase). Earlier this year, the air carrier planned a 20% growth, but the record-high fuel prices hit the global aviation market. According to Baghdasarov, Armavia carried 480,000 passengers in January-September, recording a 12.9% year-on-year rise.The president of the company believes 2009 will also be a successful business year for Armavia, taking into account downtrend fuel prices. This will result in reduction of ticket prices. Baghdasarov said. Armavia will have a fleet of 16-17 aircrafts soon and will carry out flights to the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. The air carrier currently offers flights to the CIS, Russia, Middle East and Europe. The company currently operates 9 aircrafts, including tow A 319 airbuses, two A320 airbuses, one Boeing 737, one CRJ 100, one YAK 42, one Tu-134 and one IL-86.

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Sargis Harutyunyan


Armenia’s national air carrier, Armavia, has decided to stop operating flights and file for bankruptcy on April 1 after struggling to pay its current debts for months.

In a statement released on Friday the airline explained that its owners could no longer invest into that business by taking funds from other sectors of their interest.

“Aviation is a field where one has to make continual improvements. For three years the owners of Armavia have drawn investments from other businesses to invest into efforts to sustain the airline’s growth. However, it is no longer possible to continue like that,” said the press service of Armavia.

The struggling airline has been in recurrent disputes with Yerevan’s international airport, Zvartnots, and air navigators over outstanding debts for services that often resulted in delays and cancellations of flights causing inconveniences for Armavia passengers.

Armavia’s Russian-Armenian owner, Mikhail Bagdasarov, indicated late last year that he intended to put up his loss-making company for sale and was reportedly in negotiations with potential buyers in recent month.

It is not clear yet whether a private or a state-run company will replace Armavia as Armenia’s national air carrier.

Armavia itself was established following the bankruptcy of the state-run company, Armenian Airlines, over a decade ago. It operated flights to more than 40 destinations in Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, with some of them being exclusively reserved for it under an agreement with the Armenian government. This, critics said, often resulted in disproportionately high ticket prices and inadequate quality of service.

Economist Armenak Chatinian believes it is not without a reason that Armavia has decided to file for bankruptcy now that its monopolistic rights are just about to expire. The agreement signed between the airline and the government ends on April 22.

“Now the airline’s bankruptcy simply suits its founder, because it has accumulated considerable debts, but it is not clear what assets the company actually has,” says Chatinian, an economic commentator for the local daily “Orakarg”.

At a news briefing on Thursday head of Armenia’s Civil Aviation Department Artyom Movsesian advocated a ‘political approach’ in settling the situation with Armavia.

“We can have both a state-owned airline and a private one, as well as an open skies policy. No doubt, each option has its positive and negative aspects. In order for us to be able to weigh it properly, the government must show a general approach,” said Movsesian, without elaborating.

Owner ‘In Talks’ To Sell Armenian Airline

Lilit Harutiunian 26.09.2012

Mikhail Bagdasarov, the Russian-Armenian owner of Armavia, has decided to sell Armenia’s national airline and is currently negotiating with potential buyers, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

“Negotiations are going on. There are no results yet,” the official, Nana Avetisova, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (

“There are different potential buyers,” she said. “Among them are Armenians not living in Armenia. There are also foreigners from the West, from Italy.”

In Avetisova’s words, Bagdasarov wants to sell the carrier because its has been operating at a loss for the third consecutive year. The losses have resulted, in large measure, from a decrease in air passenger traffic to and from Armenia handled by Armavia, she said.

Armavia’s poor financial state is evidenced by millions of dollars in outstanding debts to Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport managed by an Argentine company. The airport management periodically delays Armavia flights over the company’s apparent failure to pay the debts on time.

Bagdasarov threatened to file for bankruptcy during one such dispute in March. He said his company can no longer afford what he called exorbitant fees charged by Zvartnots for airport ground services.

Bagdasarov, who is a Russian citizen of Armenia descent, is also locked in a serious dispute with the state-run manufacturer of Russian Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft. Armavia rescinded last month a 2007 agreement to buy two such planes, saying that they have proved to be too costly and not reliable enough. The Russian aviation group Sukhoi is reportedly seeking a hefty financial compensation for the move.

Armavia was founded by Bagdasarov and became Armenia’s leading carrier in 2004 following the bankruptcy of the state-run Armenian Airlines carrier. It currently flies to more than 40 destinations in Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. It is often criticized by Armenians for what they see as disproportionately high ticket prices and inadequate quality of service.

Shahen Petrosian, a former head of Armenia’s civil aviation authority, claimed on Wednesday that Armavia has incurred massive losses because of having been badly managed. Petrosian said the Armenian government should nationalize the company and then sell minority stakes in it to domestic investors. He also urged the government to “liberalize the aviation sector” by helping to create a domestic competitor for Armavia.

Sukhoi Superjet

Armenia's Armavia To Buy Three More Sukhoi Superjet In 2012


YEREVAN, November 21. /ARKA/. CEO of Armenia's national air carrier, Armavia, Mikhail Baghdasarov, told Prime News that his company plans to conclude a firm contract for the delivery of three Sukhoi Superjet 100 in 2012.

Speaking at a news conference today Baghdasarov said the second Sukhoi Superjet will be delivered before the end of this year, following which the contract will be signed for delivery of three more planes.

Armavia was the first company to start commercial operation of new short-haul airliner.

Bagdasarov said the operation of the plane has revealed some problems that need to be eliminated.

Armavia National Air Company was established in 1996. The company meets IATA international requirements. Armavia operates over 100 flights a day to more than 40 destinations in 20 countries. It possesses 11 aircrafts - a320-3, a319-3, CRJ-200, Yak-42-VIP and Il-86 and Superjet -100.

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Armenian Airline Abandons New Russian Planes

Sargis Harutyunyan

Հրապարակված է՝ 06.08.2012

Citing safety reasons, Armenia’s national airline, Armavia, said on Monday that it has decided not to add Russian-made Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft to its fleet despite an existing supply contract with their state-owned manufacturer.

Armavia was due to buy two such passenger jets in accordance with the agreement with the Russian aviation group Sukhoi signed in Yerevan in 2007. Its top executives strongly defended the $100 million deal at the time, downplaying the fact that the newly developed SuperJets had not yet been tested in the air.

Armavia’s owner, Mikhail Bagdasarov, is a Russian-Armenian businessman close to Armenia’s government. Sukhoi is managed by another Russian citizen of Armenian descent, Mikhail Pogosian. The Russian company was until then better known for its military aircraft widely used by the air forces of Russia and many other states, including Armenia.

Armavia started using the first SuperJet 100 in April 2011. Earlier this year, the jet was grounded due to technical reasons before being sent to Russia for urgent repairs.

An Armavia spokesperson told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( that the company will not exploit it anymore. She said the fact that the SuperJet required repairs after only one year of service testifies to its inadequate quality and technical characteristics.

Dmitry Atbashian, a former longtime chief of Armenia’s civil aviation authority, approved of the move. “This aircraft does not correspond to the parameters cited in its advertisements,” Atbashian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( “As far as I know, its engines are not good enough and its operational costs are higher than expected.”

Armavia already announced last month that it will not take delivery of the second Russian plane. It gave no reason for that decision.

The decision was announced two months after another SuperJet crashed during a promotional flight in Indonesia, killing all 45 people on board. The plane disappeared from radar screens after the crew asked air-traffic control for permission to change course.

Sukhoi developed the SupeJet jointly with an Italian company in 2000-2004 as part of Russia’s efforts to revive its aerospace industry hit hard by the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nearly 100-seat jet’s first commercial was carried out by Armavia from Yerevan to Moscow in April 2011.

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