«Armenia» opens the wings

Boeing 737-500 of «Aircompany Armenia», which operated its first flight to Moscow on August 1st, was welcomed in “Vnukovo” airport as it customary with water arc. A special ceremony held on this occasion was marked by the speech of the representatives of the air company, airport, Armenian Embassy in Russian Federation and Armenian Council in Russia.

The first passengers to Moscow from Zvartnots  airport were saw off by the Director General Robert Oganesian. He told the journalists that the morning flight would be operated in everyday regime – departure time at 10:15 a.m. «We chose exactly this time for departure in order our passengers could have good sleep before arriving to the airport, – R. Oganesian says,- furthermore, at that time streets of both Yerevan and Moscow are free from traffic making further transportation of passengers more convenient». For its first flight «Aircompany Armenia» boarded 75 passengers, while for the return flight – 95 passengers. The price range for the tickets is different: starting from 49 euro (prices are in AMD and without airport taxes) up to tickets for business class. It is possible to order tickets at the lowest price 2 months prior the flight departure and on the day of the flight the price will be increased to 85 EUR. As the Director General mentioned, the air company for now would perform only one flight a day, but if there was a sufficient demand for this route, the frequency of the flight could be increased up to «10 flights a day».

Air company worked out some preferable terms for passengers, which can differentiate «Armenia» from another air companies. The terms are:  25 kg of free checked-in baggage (plus hand baggage), as well as hot meal and wine on the board of the aircraft. Its first flight «Armenia» operated from Yerevan to Mineralnye Vody on 18 July. Flights to Mineralnye Vody will be performed twice a week. Apart from the regular flights, the air company operates charter flights to Catania, Larnaca, Rhodes, Venice. We are planning to open a regular flight to London, as well. «For this purpose, – R. Oganesian says,- much work must be done, we have to sign contracts with the air companies carrying the passengers far from London to the USA and be granted with European certification. As soon as everything is done, the flight on the route Yerevan –London will be opened».

Today «Armenia» has two Boeing 737-500/700. Each aircraft is of 134 comfortable seats capacity. According to the business plan for the period of 5 years the air fleet will be replenished with 5 aircraft. Besides the route to London, flights to Minsk and St. Petersburg are planned.  Any way, mutual cooperation with Minsk is already in process and we need just the permission from Belorussian authorities.

As R. Oganesian mentioned «Armenia» cooperates with «Georgian Airways» within the framework of code-share agreement. The last operates 4 flights a week on the route of Yerevan-Tbilisi and «Armenia» has opportunities to fly to all directions operated by «Georgian Airways from Tbilisi. A ticket price starts from 35 euro. “I think to reach the capital of  Georgia in 30 minutes is more comfortable than go by car or bus and stand in a queue at the border zone for hours»,- said R. Oganesian experiencing  Armenians favorite way of travelling. It is worth mentioning that air company’s staff consists of ex-officers of “Armavia” and “Air Armenia” air companies. The first flight to Moscow was operated perfectly.  The flight attendants were nice and polite and, thanks to our professionalism, passengers didn’t feel the flight time.  At the same time, in “Vnukovo” airport before the checking-in there was held a special ceremony there, which was marked by presence of  Deputy Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentialy Mr.Vardan Hakobyan,  Vice-President of Armenian Council in Russia Mr.Levon Manukyan, Deputy Director General of Public Relations Mr. Gevorg Khachatryan and Deputy Director General of International Airport «Vnukovo» / Commercial Department Mr. A. Kuznetsov. All the participants  underlined the importance of mutual relations renewal between the national carrier of Armenia and  “Vnukovo” airport. A. Kuznetsov emphasized that our countries were traditionally tied with close relationships and “Vnukovo” had its main role in building of cultural and business activities, as well as maintained the most part of the flights on the routes between Armenia and Russia. 

V.Hakobyan giving his interview to the journalists accented on the opportunity to restart the flights. He expressed his hope that «Armenia» would be able to extend both the geography and frequency of its flights to Russia. «Most of our citizens work and live in Moscow and other regions of Russia and this airline gives them an opportunity to be more capable to relocate»,- said the official. At the same time, L.Manukyan has great hopes for our air company, as Civil Aviation stands as a security guarantor for Armenia, which is in hard geopolitical situation now.  He also promised to supply Armenian Council in Russia with information. By the way, it is worth mentioning that the only ground transportation line from Armenia to Russia through Upper Lars is periodiaclly closed, because of the natural disasters. Hence, the functioning of the national air carrier is very important.

L. Manukyan expressed his hope that the authorities of Armenia would support the air company, as without adequate administrative support civil aviation industry could not be developed, and the last would have its contribution in national tourism development, mainly by its competitive prices.  «Infrastructure of Armenia will not be able to develop effectively, if there is no available transportation for people»,- he said.

The return flight from Moscow to Yerevan was operated perfectly, as well. The landing was soft managed by Ashot Karapetyan and as usual, all passengers endow the Captain with warm applauses. 

P.S. It’s not a secret that «Armenia» is not the first national air company.  Unfortunately, its ancestors could not make success in this field. It should be noted that “Armenia” starts its activity in more challenging conditions than the previous companies, having no expirience of «open sky» policy. He paid  also attention to the fact that compared with others there were no festive events dedicated to the air company’s activity start up. All these demonstrate our  serious intentions. We hope our air company will have long and profitable activity in our country.